We discovered what 08.12.14 is, and it’s bum out

The Guild’s latest scheme has been revealed, much to everyone’s disappointment

08.12.14 elections guild guild elections su elections the guild university of birmingham UoB

If you’ve been on campus over the last weeks, you’ll probably have seen these numbers a lot: 08.12.14.

And you’ve probably wondered what those numbers could be. The coordinates of some hidden treasure? The dimensions of Kim Kardashian’s ass?

Further adding to the mystery was an email about the strange numbers. If you clicked on the email it took you to a game of Jailbreak.

I’ll admit it, I clicked on the game. And I played the game. And eventually (and I do mean eventually) I beat the game. And this is what I saw:

First of all, what do you mean I get 100 bonus points? What are these points for? I already beat your game. Can I translate the points into degree credits?

Secondly, and more infuriatingly, THAT’S IT? All these signs and QR codes and hype and emails and cock teasing, for this? That’s like fighting armies and defeating dragons to rescue a maiden, and then finding out she’s Susan Boyle.

Now, I could just spend the rest of this article taking this piss out of 08.12.14 (and trust me, that’s the article I’d much rather write), but there is a point to be made here about the wider problem with the Guild itself.

The advertising for 08.12.14 was clever. The cool black signs and air of exclusivity gave off the vibe they were advertising a party one part Project X, one part The Hangover and five parts the Popeye/cocaine scene from Wolf of Wall Street.

The Guild successfully mimicked the way one would advertise a cool, elusive house party, or an exclusive new club night.

The game was just about sabbatical elections

But it does say something rather sad about the state of student politics. The only way the Guild can capture the interest of students is by pretending to be a new room for people to get smashed in.

The Guild have already started patting themselves on the back because 7,000 students clicked on their 08.12.14 email in the first four days after it was sent, which almost sounds impressive.

But let’s try phrasing the Guild’s triumph of populism another way. It took four days for 7,000 of the 26,000 students that received the email to click on it. And that was before they knew it was about sabbatical elections.

Just over 5,000 students voted in the last sabbatical elections. Less than a fifth. When the Guild had a referendum over whether or not the entire democratic structure of the Guild should be changed, 800 voted. For both those elections, voting was done online and took no effort. I managed to vote while masturbating.

I think it’s the passcode to the Uni’s supply of gold. Or a date. Probably a date

It would be easy to blame this apathy on the students. But, in fairness, what does anyone have to look forward to when voting in student politics?

Student Unions can no longer fight the fights that matter, the ones against University management, because more than ever that’s where their funding comes from.

So more and more student politicians take on the fights that don’t matter. Banning Blurred Lines, banning sombreros, breathalysing people (who are literally only entering the building to get drunk). All these petty displays of power do nothing but piss off the people the Guild try to represent.

I don’t know that I have a solution. I don’t have an answer to the Guild’s problems.

But I do know that if the Guild are trying to get students politicised by making us play Jailbreak, neither do they.