President of the CUSU LGBT Campaign CHARLIE BELL has a few home truths he’d like to share about our Students’ Union.
A bit of advice to you new Freshers : do not get involved in student politics. Please, do not. Like the evangelical who is obliged to tell me that I’m going to Hell, I feel an almost religious zeal in spreading this Gospel – do not do it. Do not do it. Please.
Student politicos have always got a bad name, and my God they deserve it. Most decent JCR committees are full of ordinary students wanting to get involved to make their college a wee bit better. They’re not student politicians. Nor are the people who do interesting things like RAG or similar. Even some of the political societies are bearable, though I should be quite clear the term ‘bearable’ doesn’t include CUCA or CULC, and I don’t imagine there is even such as thing as CSLD any more – unless it’s an elaborate joke. Just look over the Tab archives to see my point.
Caution: I am right.
The litmus test is this. if you can actually do stuff that’s fun, with and for other students, and not be a despicable brown-nose or a march-attending, pseudo-liberal-elite, university-hating, any colour government-protesting, fun-despising, over-analysing, politically-correct, miserable fool, then you’re not a student politico. There are plenty of them around here and there’s a reason they stick to themselves, because they really don’t represent us and those of us who’ve been here long enough have realised that really isn’t going to change.
You only have to look at the agenda of last week’s CUSU Council to see that it is entirely dominated by – well, CUSU executive motions. The reason? No-one else cares (or, in fact, really knows). It makes a change to the usual crap-stream that spews its way on there (normally from the ultra-far left), demanding the university founds a school of Marxist cookery or refuses to cooperate with our local MP because he wears leather shoes. But it’s telling. Because this year, CUSU may have managed a new feat: they are no longer ridiculous, they are now utterly irrelevant. So please, let’s not give them the oxygen of publicity; remember, inert gas asphyxiation is painless for all concerned.
I’ve been here a long time. Too long, probably. I’ve had my fair share of fun winding up and irritating the depressing dullards who allegedly represent us, who would rather win elections that even a Berlusconi-Mugabe dream ticket wouldn’t bother to fix than do their degrees. But please, take my advice, and don’t bother getting involved. Once you’re sucked in, you’ll never stop – the mindless drivel that flows from these types will get under your skin, and you will one day explode in a, quite likely, Thatcherite declaration of ‘NO, NO, NO’. Do useful things. If you really feel strongly about something, do something in the real world. Engage with people. Express your actual views. Talk to your friends. Drink. Live. But don’t think CUSU is the forum for that. It isn’t. It’s just stupid.
Just be careful that these eejits don’t actually mistake you for Mrs T and dance on your grave burning the union flag, because that is genuinely the level of political discourse these clowns think is appropriate. That together with banner waving, grandstanding and badge wearing. It’s all just a little bit pre-school. It’s all just a little bit, well… sad. And, Freshers, despite the look of you, I think you’re probably better than that.
Oh, and I look forward to the politico outrage from CUSU commenters below. They’re usually deeply thoughtful statements. For amoebae.