Who says you can’t attempt to make ‘fresh starts’ before January?
I’ve become slightly concerned about my little grey bubble that I’ve begun blowing recently! The thing about being president of a society, and a substantially sized one at that is sometimes it’s easy to take it all too seriously! I tend to think of myself as a radio station manager rather than a student club leader which means hat maybe I invest too much of myself into it.
Take the Burnfm mousemats situation. The mats, which cost burn £700 and the Guild £300 are far bigger than the size we asked the Guild to order. Apparently this is the fault of the supplier. The biggest issue is that the Guild logo takes up over half the space on the mat meaning that although Burn’s investment was of a much higher sum, the Guild appear to have much more of a visual benefit. These mats are going to be placed in computer clusters where the Guild – or Burn – have ever been able to advertise before so I don’t accept the counter argument that ‘the Guild need the advertising less than Burn so should pay less.’ At the end of the day advertising space is advertising space! The Guild also need to raise awareness about their own site. The biggest issue is that perhaps a smaller mat would have saved Burn money (as well as meaning that the Guild logo wouldn’t stand out as much.)
So that’s the stressy bit out of the way. On a positive note we’ve got them! After around 4 months of planning (since June) the mousemats are now safely with University IT services. Hopefully the mats will last around 3 years a provide a unique way of connecting with potential audiences – after all, all they need is headphones and they can plug into the library computers.
I guess I need to think about the positive things achieved this year at Burn! It’s just frustrating when you put time, effort and most of all passion into a project and it’s not entirely perfect, it can be hard to swallow – particularly when there are over 100 people looking to you to sort things. Any mistakes ultimately fall to me – if someone says something incriminating on air, for example, I may be the one who is ultimately disciplined. When you try and work with people who have less interest in a project than you have your sense of urgency isn’t matched and priorities are different – therefore wires have crossed.
I had a really stressful day last Wednesday. There’s no need to go into details really – there’s not much point, although I’d like to say that it is unfair that the way that staff talk to guild members is not seen as important as how staff are approached by members. I usually communicate everything by email, but not being able to be at the Guild every day I sometimes cannot wait for a reply and have to have a face to face conversation. These conversations are best had in comfy chairs (or at least sitting down.) When there’s an imbalance in the room – i.e someone is seated and another is stood awkwardly by the doorway, it can escalate to something unintended all too easily – tense body language is read wrongly etc… I’d also had the stress of showing the 27 strong committee the mousemats. I’d been frightened that they would be upset with me for giving the go ahead with them but luckily they were supportive as ever.
So, anyway (onto the point!) I went home when I’d finished Burn duties and wrote on my twitter an angsty (borderline hormonal sounding) tweet about how I was ‘fed up of the guild’ and that the ‘VPSAD’ was going to have a meeting to tell me off (or something along those lines.) Actually, upon reflection I shouldn’t have brought the VPSAD into it – and as such I’ve deleted the tweet. It wasn’t a personal attack on the VPSAD herself (I didn’t name her, because it was a general moan about the structure of the guild rather than the way she does her job – I was annoyed at how the VPSAD has to carry out the potentially uncomfortable council of disciplining a student rather than the student and the offended party having that discussion themselves. Had I been asked for an apology, I most certainly would have given one – I had my deputy manager with me and had I been offensive I’m sure he would have had a quiet word with me post event and I would have immediately tried to rectify the situation. I have never set out to deliberately offend anyone.
This is why I want to publish a public apology to the Guild’s VPSAD, Emma Packham, because I understand that my public tweet may easily have been offensive. Emma has been a great support to Burn, myself and all other students involved in societies since she took to her role and has always been open to chats with me – and I’m honestly really sorry if I caused her any upset.
Tomorrow Emma and the Guild gang will be campaigning with a flashmob at the Old Joe clocktower on the University of Birmingham Edgebaston campus (12.50pm.) This campaign is to try and ‘tell David’ Eastwood, the uni’s Vice Chancellor that a rise in tuition fees to £7000 plus is unreasonable. David will be One of the six people sitting at the Governmental table making such a decision. If you are reading this and are available then please come down and support. At 1pm we’ll be heading off to Joes Bar in the Guild to find out more.
Hope you are all well!