With apologies to our non-student readers
Guild Television (GTV) wanted to change their name to Birmingham University Student Television (BUST). This requires a change in their constitution, which can only happen with the approval of Guild Council. The proposer stood up, for her first time, and made a good and sensible case about why her committee felt it necessary to change the society’s name. This was recieved by certain Guild Councillors, with a torrent of attacks, of a senseless and petty nature. We were told, laughably, that BUST was sexually discriminatory, we were told that their solution (which they came up with to suit the needs of their society) was inappropriate and ill-thought out and we were told that BUST was inaccurate as it didn’t coincide with the University’s own re-branding, to the University of Birmingham.
This process has deeply embarrased me and the involvement I have had with the Guild. It seems to me that every time a student wants to change something, they go to the basement and ask advice, and get told to go to GC. Then they sit, very patiently through a long and tedious meeting, awaiting the discussion on their motion. GC then insists on nit-picking, badgering and criticising whatever motion they put infront of us.
We witnessed this last year with CVG who wanted to petition the Guild to build a games room, CVG now no longer turn up to Guild Council because of the abuse they recieved. As we discovered during the 25 minute debate (on something as insignificant as a name-change) none of those who raised objections had emailed or approached the committee to seek mutual resolution. Instead, they awaited until the discussion, to ambush and publically humiliate those who sought our help to ensure their society continues to grow and move forward.
Why do we persist on navel-gazing and questioning why we don’t have proper student activism? The answer is obvious, we turn them off!
Once GC becomes a proper body of mature discussion, where we open our minds to new ideas, then we will get proper student level involvement.