We tied Bret Ware to a chair and forced him to watch a bunch of campaign videos. He was thrilled.

Unlike my cynical peers here at The Soton Tab, I tend to take a fresh and charitable view on the student phenomenon that is the SUSU election period. I do not spin sensational stories, nor do I easily succumb to chastising with unwarranted venom the campaigns these potential sabbatical candidates put a lot of hard work into. I will make like a BBC correspondent and present to you the videos as they are, my commentary as informative, constructive, and free from disdain as ever.

Yep, I’m talking rubbish. I loathe the election period. There’s a reason why I stay glued in the Gordon Arms during elections. As soon as I step foot on campus I can hear them all campaigning, laughing and blowing a load of hot steam about their manifestos. Look at them, all being successful and outgoing. Bastards.

Below is a selection of a few of the popular campaign videos of this year, accompanied by some scathing commentary by yours truly. I hate petty student politics, and I told the editors at Soton Tab if they didn’t give me a platform to lambaste the SUSU campaign videos I’d microwave a kitten. They obliged. Well done, guys. You made the right choice.

1. Leane On Me



The highlight of this video is an egregious censor bar covering a now blatantly obvious RAG donation jar. Yep – that’s the captivating part. This campaign video has more in common with Plan 9 From Outer Space than a Chaplin short – it had me for all of about two seconds before I clicked on a video of a cat being rubbed with a piece of felt.

Rob Leane would have been better off taking the silent movie format a little further; perhaps a SUSU-related revamping of Salvador Dali’s Un chien Andalou, where the infamous intro scene with the razor cutting into the eye of a woman could have been cleverly remade using pictures of his competitors. Sure, it’s a little absurd, but since when did a little shock and unnecessary hostility go down that badly?

2. A Cuppa with Chloe



By this time I thought all the campaign videos were going to be clips of vague manifesto points. It’s a popularity game, the likes of which is made more exciting with snappy videos. This is far from snappy. It reminds me of the poor fellow who found himself mistakenly reeled into the BBC newsroom one night to give an interview on a topic he had no idea about; there are more “umms” and “aahs” than there are haphazard spray-paint election posters.

The sound is also terrifying – the electronic throes of fellow tea-goers and the harsh tin of Chloe’s sibilants recorded by the substandard mic are somehow made more unnerving with the Costa lounge music superimposed on top. I thought it was the general hum of an alien spaceship. Turns out it was a café.

3. Greek Lightning



Now this is more like it. Near mindless lyrics set to a hackneyed cover of an already painfully hackneyed song. At least Sophie Kamperis’ banal SUSU platitudes are set to song; I watched the whole song all the way through and only experienced a mild sense of discomfort. Then I got to the Academic Affairs manifesto points and started biting my nails again. It was at least short and to the point. Although there is some confusion amongst the singers over whether they should be singing ‘Greek’ or ‘Grease’, I can’t fault this video for being as boring as the others. Well done, Sophie. If I didn’t neglect my powers as a student in a viable democratic system I’d probably vote for you.

4. Nick Johnson’s ‘Rapifesto’

I was a little unsettled by the title, having initially thought of it as an Italian word for a rapefest. As soon as I started watching, however, it became clear – it was a fairly funny parody for a SUSU election campaign video, and it did actually involve some fornication. Eminem himself would be amused by the lyrics, and while I’m not entirely sure what the whole shebang had to do with Welfare & Communities, I saw free condoms, and that can only be a good thing.

Well, there’s the round up. If you have some more charitable ideas than mine, tell The Tab what you think about the SUSU campaign videos, and if you’re seething at the teeth by this point, feel free to drop me a line in the comments box below.