Home Comment “Why does anyone bother running in the first place?”

“Why does anyone bother running in the first place?”


As term two starts and Sabbatical ambitious begin to rear their ugly heads, the upstairs of Devonshire House is abuzz with gossip as to who will run and, more interestingly for most, why whoever is planning to run would be awful for the job. What I can’t get my head around, though, is why anyone would bother to run in the first place.

Let’s start with campaign week. Donning a raincoat and a sickly smile, you gather a group of your ‘closest’ second year chums, none of whom are only interested in the golden status of being your friend following your vic-tory of course, and head to Forum Hill. Five days of torrential rain, pneumonia and being told to fuck off might have put off a lesser candidate, but not you. No, you’ll do whatever it takes. You’ll lay out the red carpet for any prospective voter, so long as they just remember your tragic tagline and don’t listen to those horrible others who’ll surely bring doom to our campus.

You get to the debates and find that the handful of members of your campaign group who haven’t given up yet are scattered across the alumni auditorium alongside a few members of Guild staff and someone with an in-explicable hair style who’ll definitely ask you about something you’ve never heard of. Tough crowd. Nevertheless, your ability to grace-fully evade the ambiguous questions and charm the audience with pros-pects of puppies and hair cuts stands you in good stead, and your nod to “the great work that the Guild does” wins you ravenous applause from the A&V staff, awakening the rest of the audience who fell asleep when your opponent started questioning the financial viability of your ‘free trips to New York for any committee who doesn’t try to evade tax’ idea.

After a humiliating ceremony at the Lemmy, for everyone else that is, you’ve finally won. You rule the roost now. Congratulations. Suddenly your life becomes a whirlwind of photo shoots, small talk and clipboard carrying. Your desk is in a glass box, so you best look busy and, more importantly, cheery. You are the face of the Guild now after all.

Sitting back, you observe a group sniggering at you from a table in DH1 and realise that despite your new-found power you are resented by the students, who surpassed your acumen for leadership when they jumped the queue at the Ram but didn’t fancy the arse-licking required to win the farcical popularity contest you so cheerfully dragged yourself through two years of Welcome Team and ten committee roles for. But screw them, you earned this. Now you’re living it up with real money and real responsibility, but don’t think about getting carried away. Those smart clothes you bought with your first pay check will only last aslong as the ‘Guild Approved’ stamp remains clearly on the label, and you better get going on those manifesto points because the year will just fly by when you’re having this much fun.

At Christmas time, just when you thought you thought you could finally have a hangover day, it’s photo time again. Yes, they even print greetings cards with your face on them. But, de-spite the expensive glossy finish, your smiley Christmas portrait will gather dust and yellow with the memories of the glorious year when you made all those revolutionary changes that were scrapped the minute you left. Why wouldn’t I run for Sabb? Because I’d have to get a smile surgically fixed on my face to cover the inner dis-appointment that I’d become a Guild PR puppet. Because I don’t want the details of my obligatory Lemmy visits to be bandied around by staff and students as the gossip of the week. And, most of all, because there are more important things I’d like to do with my life than weighing up the pro’s and con’s of an extra salad bar in Devon-shire House and attending the inevitably shitty Freshers’ Ball.

– Anonymous Student

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