On the second homes debate…

Watching the Politics Show and I feel another rant coming on. They’re talking about the building of affordable houses in the South West and they showed Penzance as an example of somewhere where housing prices have rocketed in the last ten years, which leaves the local people unable to afford homes. Strange though, that they completely neglected to state why the house prices have gone up….. is it because our incomes have all gone up? Is there a massive gap in Cornwall between the very rich and the very poor? Well, not really, the average income down here is pretty low. The issue is actually second homes driving up the house prices – people paying a million pounds for an old fishing shack in St Ives that they only use for two weeks a year and so forth. Odd that they didn’t mention it, right?

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Being mad enough to run for student president part 7

The voting did not close. Yes, I know, it is a surprise. But there was a massive power cut last night and all the servers on campus are offline. And so voting has been extended for a bit – how long, we don’t yet know and won’t know until the servers are back online.

Everyone’s kind of annoyed…. some of the candidates looked as if they were going to hit something. I’m a little more laid back about it than I thought I would be but I’m still a bit pissed off because I had kind of hoped this would all be over by now and that at this point I would be beginning a fine  journey into a drunken stupor. Sadly, as it is, none of my friends seem to be going out, even though it’s St Patrick’s Day, and so I have no one to go get drunk with. There doesn’t even appear to be any alcohol at the flat so I can’t even get drunk on my own and sing sad Irish songs progressively more out of tune until I pass out. Life can be sad sometimes.

Hopefully it’ll be tomorrow that voting ends so I can find out that I’ve lost once and for all and not have to spend any more time in this irritating state of limbo. I should also probably get some uni work done at some point too.

Voting will still be at www.fxu.org.uk/elections – keep trying because you will be able to vote there at some point soon.

Happiness and Light,
Mabel xx

Being mad enough to run for student president part 6

Voting is still open – but it closes on Thursday at 2pm so you’d better get voting if you want me (or indeed anyone) to be your student president! Again, I reiterate, the most important thing is not for whom you vote but that you vote full stop. You cannot underestimate how ridiculously important this is to the functioning of your student union and the continuing battle to save the universe….. okay, so maybe I am exaggerating a bit, but you get the point.

Anyway, this weekend was quite lazy as far as campaigning went, mainly because I had to dogsit. Yes, yes, not a particularly presidential excuse but he’s all fluffy  and cute and he gets lonely. And so the highlight of my weekend was an almost three hour walk in which I found that my dog has the shortest attention span of any known animal. Including plankton. But boy can that collie herd. He’s not a trained sheepdog or anything (but I’d love it if my mum actually got him trained up to herd sheep) but the instinct is certainly there as any group of two or more animals is immediately chased after and brought back to me. This actually includes children as well, which can get me into trouble when I go to pick up my little brother and sister from school.

In any case, that is why not a lot of campaigning happened over the weekend, but it started afresh on Monday when I spent the day at Tremough….. well, actually, not much campaigning could happen then either as it was a UCAS fair and so the place was overrun with people who could neither vote for me nor legally buy alcohol. So I spent my day running around with bored workmates (I hadn’t been told it was a workday so I wasn’t being paid to keep them company, sadly) and just generally hanging out. Though it was not particularly productive it was fun.

But today –  today I went a little mental with the campaigning to make up. I took my leaflets and headed down to Woodlane in the morning, where people were very lovely and a few offered to take some leaflets and hand them round for me, which was hellova sweet. And then when Woodlane had had enough of me – they weren’t quite throwing things at me yet but I thought it best not to chance it – I headed back up to Tremough where there was much canvassing to do. This was helped along considerably when my friend brought little ‘vote Mabel’ cakes that she’d made…. it turns out that bribing students with sugar is the best way to get them caring about democracy!

I have a stupid amount of lectures tomorrow (grumble grumble) but will attempt to do some canvassing in my break. I want to talk to as many people as I can, but realise that there is a limit to how many out of 6000 students I can actually get round to meeting in two weeks. At least at the end I will be able to say that I tried my best.

Happy Voting,
Mabel xx

 

Being mad enough to run for student president part 5

Oh yes, the parts of this are stacking up!

Voting is now open! You can vote for me at www.fxu.org.uk/elections until next Thursday (17th March) at 2pm. What really matters (whether you’re a Falmouth or Exeter student) is that you do cast a vote, no matter who you vote for. The more people vote the more legitimate your student union is and the more people will take it seriously which means you are represented better.

It was Hustings at Tremough yesterday and having (kind of) effectively gotten rid of my nerves during the seminar on Hard Times we’d had just before, I found it all flooding back when I entered the Stannery to find they’d erected a makeshift stage and put a podium there. The one thing that could have made it worse was formality and there it was taunting me. There was also double or even three times the people who were listening in the Woodlane Bar. I immediately felt extremely sick. Thankfully a couple of my friends had turned up so I had someone to sit with until I went up to the doom that was my presentation.

Now, I can’t speak for other people who stammer, but for me the perennial bits of advice that are given, of the “take a deep breath”, “calm down”, “think about the word before you say it” variety are utterly useless. The chances are that I’m doing these things anyway and the fact that people don’t realise that and think that it is a case of me just being nervous or not thinking makes things infinitely worse. Sadly, this seems to be the only advice most people think they should give and get very offended when you don’t find it helpful – as if they believe they’ve let you in on some kind of revolutionary secret you’ve never heard before and will make you cease stammering instantly. But my friends are amazing, the only advice I got being the best: “We don’t care, just talk at us if it gets bad.”

In the end, I suppose it went okay. I did get stuck on my name, which was embarrassing to say the least, though having looked at the video (yes, just to compound the torture they’ve put up a video. To protect any semblance of dignity that I have left I refuse to post the link here) it wasn’t for as long as I’d thought and no one asked if I’d forgotten it! I managed to get through it is the main thing, and hopefully some people liked it and will maybe think about voting for me. I’d like to think that maybe I could do the job well.  The question we got at the end was a bit pitiful (“What one word would you use to describe how you stand out from the other candidates?” as if you can do such a thing in one word) especially as the Exeter candidates got some seriously good questions asked to them. Maybe Exeter uni students are just more political as a student body?

Today I went to the printer’s to get more posters; I also got a hundred flyers which shall hopefully be appearing around both campuses soon. I hope I don’t run out as I don’t want to have to bother the printer again! 😀

Happiness and Light,
Mabel x

Being mad enough to run for student president part 4

Today was ‘meet the candidates’ (I don’t know about you but I prefer the word ‘Hustings’, personally!) down at Woodlane Campus. Not many people turned up to it so in the end it was more like a dress rehearsal for when we have to do it tomorrow at Tremough. One of the candidates running against me, a girl from the Dartington people,  did an amazing performance which involved cake. There was cake at the end. I think this is going to win round voters and I’m seriously resisting the urge to arrive tomorrow with a metric shit-ton of brownies! 😀

Everyone’s presentations of their manifestos were really good: I think it’s equal competition all round, really. To be honest it would be boring were it any other way. As for my presentation: well, I didn’t even attempt my real name, just went with Mabel and hoped to any god that would have me that the introduction that I was given was enough for people to grasp that I had a name beyond that. Having said this I managed to get through without getting majorly stuck – though I did have one moment where I thought I was going to end up blocking for approximately forever and completely freaked out but thankfully I didn’t have to worry as much as I did. I’m not sure I’ll be able to say the same thing tomorrow… technically not sure I’ll be able to say anything tomorrow. There’s going to be a lot more people and a lot more pressure, which usually ends badly. Still it should be interesting if nothing else, and I’ve managed to have a good chat to all the candidates and make some new friends which is what it’s all about really. Though I’m looking forward to seeing the debates we had today amplified somewhat!

If you’re around Tremough campus and want to come along to see the candidate’s talks then come on down to the Upper Stannery at 12pm. Should be interesting if nothing else.

Happiness and Light,
Mabel x

Being mad enough to run for student president part 3 – my manifesto.

I realise that I should have posted it before, but my campaign reflects me: I sometimes have to make people wait a while and don’t do things in the right order all the time…. with that in mind, please forgive me and have a read of my manifesto. I hope you like it.

Happiness and Light,
Mabel xx

 

JENIFER “MABEL” SLATTERY’S UCF PRESIDENT MANIFESTO…

Who am I again? My name’s Jenifer Slattery, though I tend to go by the name Mabel: partly because it’s easier to say (I have a slight stammer and J’s are problematic) but mainly for reasons I’m unsure of! I kind of like it, even if it does make me sound like someone’s mad aunty…
I’m a second year English with Creative Writing student and have loved my time at UCF so far. I’ve lived in the Falmouth area all my life so thought it would be a little weird going to uni here but it was all really welcoming and laid back (like the rest of Cornwall really) so it was easy to fit in. And I made lots of friends at Freshers’ by knowing all the pubs! Another thing about me is that I love conversation and will spend ages chatting away about any subject so definitely come and talk to me if there’s anything you want to say!

 

What will I do for you?

  • Manage the grand old task of getting freshers moved and settled in and interacting with the rest of the student body.
  • Work to help connect students more with the local community.
  • I am seriously committed to the democratic process and will work tirelessly to uphold this in FXU.
  • I am also committed to protecting students’ rights and interests and speaking for you from the lowest to the highest levels, making sure you get the feedback of our progress every step of the way.
  • Work my hardest to ensure that government spending cuts do not negatively impact upon the student experience.
  • Organise and promote a good variety of events, both in freshers’ week and out, on and off campus. I will also strive to give students more opportunities to take decisions on what events happen.
  • Aim to organise more events at Woodlane campus, possibly working towards better opening hours for the Woodlane Bar.
  • Encourage the growth of participation in and number of sports and other societies.
  • Continue to push for free cash withdrawals at Tremough.
  • Have time for every student that comes to me, be it with a problem, a question, a suggestion or even just a vague need for chat and biscuits.
  • Be continually open to suggestions and queries.

 

So why vote for me? I think that Falmouth students are among the best in the world (not that I’m biased or anything!) and so deserve the highest standard of representation – and I am prepared to work as hard as I can to give that to you, as well as a warm welcome to any who need it. With me there are no half measures; I will always do my utmost to make sure you get what you want and need from your university experience, and I intend to have a ridiculous amount of fun doing it!

Hope to see you around soon!