OUSA Election Forums | Opinion

In my mind, the success of any elected organisation is largely dependent on its leader(s), and whether or not they manage to unite an often disparate group of people under one banner in the name of getting shit done.

Ruby Sycamore-Smith could name at least six other candidates she was interested in working with on the Executive. Jordan Watts was pretty charming and presented himself as an independent thinker, unbeholden to any particular people/ groups currently embedded in OUSA. Zac Gawn wore a suit and prides himself on being the “lad” who can bring Scarfiedom back to OUSA.

My Two Cents

Ruby: Has a large/ solid exec team she can work with if elected, and already has a good relationship with the large majority of candidates. Aiming for the “caucus/community” vote.
Zac: Ticket seems based around large drinking events/ places. Aiming for the “populist” vote.
Jordan: Seems like a cool dude but is basically the new guy, and probably won’t win simply because he lacks name recognition. Aiming for the “protest” vote.

I split the issues down three lines:

1. New Student Pub:

Ruby: Favoured a pub funded in partnership with the Uni.
Zac: Favoured a pub owned by OUSA.
Jordan: Favoured no new student pub.

2. Internet:

Thoughts on censorship:
Ruby: Strongly anti-censorship. Supports removing or limiting the Uni proxy.
Zac: Seemed to encourage DIY circumvention of the proxy to pirate material or access Redtube as needed.
Jordan: Claimed that censorship was necessary given the network problems caused by piracy.

Thoughts on Internet speed:
Jordan and Gus: Believed that the issue was out of OUSA’s hands and could only be dealt with by ITS.
Ruby: Believed that advocating for improved Internet speed should be high on OUSA’s priority list.

3. Inclusiveness

Zac: Felt that greater OUSA inclusiveness translated into a new student pub and more Scarfies at the Hyde Street Keg Party.
Ruby: Advocated for greater OUSA support for all kinds of events. Highlighted her past successes at bringing diverse minority groups together on various projects.
Jordan: Advocated greater support for larger, partly external events such as the Craft Beer Festival.

One criticism of each candidate:

Ruby: Her “induction booklet” for freshers sounded no different to the handbook diaries given to all new students by OUSA for years, which I believe are rarely used. Uninspiring.
Zac: Seemed to be against most items of “welfare spending” and yet supported a potentially massive white elephant of debt in the form of a student pub. Was unable to justify such a purchase in economic terms.
Jordan: Possibly a libertarian.
This article first appeared in Issue 25, 2013.
Posted 2:29pm Sunday 29th September 2013 by Jacobin.