INTERVIEW: Chris Stark

We chat to ex-Southampton student done good Chris Stark

When we weren’t getting drunk and making witty comments on our live blog at the election results night we were actually being proper journalists and interviewing people. One of the people we managed to force to speak to us was Radio 1 DJ Chris Stark.

Chris himself is a graduate of Southampton University. His bi-weekly feature on Scott Mills “24 years at the Tap-end” often features some of his activities in Southampton, mainly Jesters and Portswood. This week alone he mentioned a show night out in Jesters followed by Manzils!

He was down as the after party DJ and whilst he was in the VIP Bar to relax prior to his set we asked for a cheeky word.

You’re back again to DJ the after-party tonight, did you get involved in the Elections whilst you were a student?

I was in a couple of campaign teams when I was at university but the coverage was completely different. I presented the elections when it was first done by SUSUtv. It all used to be done by Surge in the Stag’s Head but one year they said they were going to film it, it was a SHAMBLES! But it was a really big thing, cos it was the first time they visualised it, it was me and a girl named Jenny (sic) and I really enjoyed it! I’ve seen videos of it since and it was awful, but it taught me a lot and it was good on my CV, as I had show-reel of me doing this election night and I look at the set up now and its an incredible set up.

But my main involvement was doing the SUSUtv the first time, and I wasn’t really involved in SUSUtv as I was more Surge but they asked if I would present it first time and that was my main involvement in elections but I know what a big deal it is to everyone here.

We then diverged slightly into the uptake of interest in the student body….

I think, from what I’ve heard and read on The Tab, maybe there’s been fewer people coming out to vote and I think that needs to be addressed as there are loads of students who should be here tonight. It’s free entry into The Cube and it’s a banging night, such a good night, and people have put in so much effort and there should be a queue out the door.  And to be honest it’s a better night then given credit for. And I don’t know why. Maybe the lack of candidates is a factor.

This lead to a discussion about methods of campaigning, how this year bombarding concourse had moved more into social media and off Red-brick discussion…

It used to be that you avoided concourse to avoid being hounded. However with the decrease this year maybe it needs to get a bit old school, get the armies back on concourse and leave off the Facebook a bit, even in this day and age!

We then returned to discussions of the night itself…

This is the best night I’ve seen run at the union and I was really glad to come back and get involved. I’ve seen the presenters at SUSUtv and they’re brilliant, much better then I was, and the same with Surge, I went up to the Surge studio and they’re so much better than I was. But everything is so much better than when I was here and I just would like students to get involved, and there will be in the future as this is the way to go.

On to how the number involved is still higher than elsewhere….

God yeah, I’ve been to some universities elsewhere and there is nothing on this scale and I think this is incredible compared to other universities, in the professionalism and enthusiasm of people involved is to their credit and I do think students don’t realise how good this is compared to other universities and next year even more get involved. When I was a student I looked for any excuse for a night out and this is a brilliant one! This is the formula that will work. Its buzzing tonight, but can be brilliant next year.

On to the method of announcing the winners…

You can only do this at uni, I’m seeing people get jobs in the same way as the X-Factor. I’ve got my dream job at Radio 1 but I didn’t get smoke and doors and people cheering them! It’s a great night and positive evening.

And his final words….

There’s a lot of students here tonight but next year I want a queue going down the road. It’s a really good party and better than any other university I’ve been to! It’s also nice the Soton Tab is doing this in a really nice way and supporting the union. I’ve gotta go DJ now so thank you. It feels weird to be saying it as a graduated student but you all help make the university what it is!

So you heard it here! The main elections are over, but Student Leader elections are starting this week. And if you’re still at Southampton next year then get involved! We’ll be there as standard but join some campaign teams or even just visit results night, its a great party for the really expensive price of £0