In a move to shock the ages the OUSA Exec have allowed Critic and Radio One to moderate the OUSA elections forums, after last year’s forums, described by Critic Editor Joel MacManus as a “shitshow,” were moderated by then-OUSA President Hugh Baird.
Last year’s forums featured Hugh arguing personal grievances with the candidates on stage, everyone saying the same boring shit, and an audience of twelve people, all of whom were OUSA nerds. The three forums together ran well over six hours. “They were very, very long and boring,” said Joel.
Critic and Radio One want to revamp the forums and hopefully get more than the people running and their friends to turn up.
“The goal is to put candidates to the test and ask the hard questions rather than just let them ramble on boringly and give pre-written speeches.
We hope this will make it a generally entertaining spectacle so that people might actually turn up and maybe even vote,” said Joel.
Some members of the Exec were hesitant about Critic moderating the forums, citing perceived bias in Critic’s election coverage last year. “Critic already has too much power over the elections as it is,” said Abigail Clark, Welfare Officer. Joel reiterated Critic’s right to publish whatever we want.
Critic used to moderate the forums, mostly because no one else wanted to. Sam McChesney, 2013 Critic Editor, said, "It was Critic's job and nobody questioned that, even though my views on the candidates were well known".
In the end the Exec agreed to allow Critic and Radio One to moderate the forums on the condition that they submitted the moderators for prior approval, presumably to ensure that Joel didn’t do it. The submitted moderators were Critic’s Chief Reporter Esme Hall and Radio One Breakfast Host Jamie Green. The exec unanimously passed these moderators.
This year’s President’s Debate will also be held in the evening at UBar instead of the Main Common Room, to try encourage attendance.
The forums will be held on the 12th and 13th of September, with the 10 hour positions at 12pm in the Main Common Room on the 12th, the 20 hour positions at 12pm in the Main Common Room on the 13th, and the President’s Debate at 7pm at UBar on the 13th.