Comment Videos YUSU Elections 2018

The presidential debate

While at the beginning all candidates tended to answer challenging topics by reciting over-quoted elements of their manifesto, the second half of the debate showed much more interesting interaction between participants, as they began to scrutinize their opponents' responses.

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The presidential debate, filmed by YSTV this evening, gave candidates Bradley, Bushby, Langrish and Ngwena perhaps their final chance to receive and respond to student questions publicly.

While at the beginning all candidates tended to answer challenging topics by reciting over-quoted elements of their manifesto, the second half of the debate showed much more interesting interaction between participants, as they began to scrutinize their opponents' responses.

Watch the debate again
Bradley spoke passionately about his current position in the University, stating how "coming from an obscure point" of York made him a good representative of the average student. As well as discussing how societies are "naturally greedy" for more money, he emphasised how he wanted to show students "anybody can do this job" and that he had the enthusiasm and willingness to learn to make a successful president.

However, the point was quickly picked up by Ngwena who stated "a certain level of experience is required" for the position, citing his involvement with Fusion as evidence of how past experience in the show taught him what needed to be "tweaked".

Bushby spoke confidently, with emphatic phrases such as "on standard, on cost and on time" (when speaking on the Heslington East development) driving his main points home. He spoke frequently on students' "individual university experience", and seemed keen to emphasise how "YUSU has become too profit focused". He went on to discuss his personal involvement with the boat club, and justified his inability to recall YUSU budget statistics by saying, "I know the cold hard fact".

One candidate who clearly did know "the cold hard fact" was Ngwena, who showed up all other candidates in drawing attention to the fact he was the only one who knew exact amount of money YUSU allocated to societies last year. While Bushby stated he was simply "chucking out numbers", Ngwena seemed to thrive at the debate, appearing more relaxed and self-assured then at his hustings.

As with Langrish, Ngwena often drew on very specific examples which added credibility to his statements and showed his depth of thought on topical student issues, such as mentioning his "active step" to talk to Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Students Jane Grenville, who he describes as "our link to the university", and the potential problem of key card access in relation to Heslington East.

However, Langrish matched Ngwena on the majority of his points, with the pair often supporting each others' answers. His responses were logical, and many of his observations, such as "YUSU need to advertise their successes more" were agreed upon by all candidates. Further statements such as "they do love it when you can say...80% did not like this issue" (on presenting more data to the University) made Langrish sound authoritative and competent.

In general all candidates responded well, yet it seemed that Ngwena and Langrish were the two most able to support and maintain their ideas under scrutiny from the others. The presidential debate has shown students different facets of the candidates from their hustings appearances, helping to create a more balanced overview of Bushby, Bradley, Langrish and Ngwena as the voting deadline approaches.

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18 Comments

Erik O'Connor Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

"In general all candidates responded well"

Did we watch the same debate?

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Jason Rose Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

I think it's interesting that Ngwena pointed out that he went to talk to Grenville as an "active step" but that Langrish didn't feel the need to point out he has had meetings with her all the time over the last year. I was impressed that none of the candidates attacked each other and it's good that we are seeing similar policies.

To be honest, over 80% of people who are voting for President had already voted but it showed the people in a slightly different light.

It was obvious that Langrish and Ngwena knew their stuff and had gone out of their way to look at the situations, whereas Bushby and Bradley didn't know very much at all (including things that are publicly available) - but since they're running as "outsiders" it sort-of makes sense anyway.

We'll just have to wait and see who gets in... and see how closely their actions match those they've pledged!

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Chris Northwood Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

"To be honest, over 80% of people who are voting for President had already voted"

Where did you get these stats from Jason?

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Jason Rose Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

Hmm, meant to say "I reckon over 80%"

But it is true in general. Well over half of the total voting turnout is in the first day, from what I've been told. I'm not sure about President in particular but, well, the presidential debate this year was very poorly advertised and run. The feed wasn't great, hardly anyone watched it (not sure exact figures but I know that only those with keen interest knew it existed and the Courtyard wasn't even at usual capacity) and so I suspect that most students just voted when they went online and didn't wait for it. Probably close to 90% voted before the Presidential debate. We can get the facts next week if you like.

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Chris Northwood Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

Cheers for pissing all over me Jason. And you're right, you don't know what the viewer figures are - they're among YSTV's highest (more people watched the debate live than listened to URY's interviews live according to the figure I heard from the people at URY)

What was wrong with the feed?

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Chris Northwood Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

And what were the problems with the way it was run? As co-producer of the debate I would love to hear your feedback and how you would have run it differently.

We planned it on very short notice because we were informed that the Club of PEP were going to run another debate and only found out on Friday that they weren't.

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Jason Rose Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

The comments on the feed page weren't exactly thrilling and those of us in the Courtyard couldn't hear the debate properly and the visual link kept screwing up (not at our end) so I'd assumed it was the same online. I wasn't online though so can't say that completely.

In terms of the way it was run, I didn't hear a single person say that filming it in YSTV was good. Everybody I spoke to in the Courtyard wanted to watch the actual debate live. The advertising was also poor, though I do appreciate that it's mostly because of the short notice.

Note that I'm not attacking the situation - it was still beneficial over not having had the debate - but I don't think that the average person watched it, I don't think that the average person even knew it was on and I'm not convinced that most of the people who watched it thought that it was spectacularly great. There wasn't atmosphere without an audience. Last year's debate was so much better, though it was very well done last year. Just points for the future; hope it isn't taken as being overcritical but just truthfully criticial.

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Chris Northwood Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

* the visual link kept screwing up (not at our end) so I'd assumed it was the same online.

Okay, well I wasn't in The Courtyard but I know they did have difficulties but my report from the YSTV techies was that once we convinced The Courtyard to let us have the sound turned up it was fine.

We did want to run it so we could have an live audience bigger than 2 people, the YSTV studio was a last resort - every single lecture room on campus big enough to run the event from was booked which forced us to do it from the studio.

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Jason Rose Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

Surely you could have asked one of the societies sweetly? One of them must have been ok to change or one of the Alcuin/Physics must have been ok with the outside-portering-hours charge?

And I did say that I know it's mostly because of the late organisation. I'm not attacking you! I'm just saying the reasons that I don't think it was as effective as it should have been. Hustings was more useful for making the decision on President, imho

Chris Northwood Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

We (well Henry) did ask the other societies - and we did check Physics (P/X/001 was our number 1 choice but YSC was using it) and afaik Alcuin

YSTV Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

Perhaps one solution for this is if the university provided YSTV with a much larger studio so that we could have a live audience as well?!

YSTV apologises for the problem with the sound in the Courtyard, but the video is now available online.

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Dan Taylor Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

Jason, when will you realise that the more you seem to comment rubbish on things, the more likely it is that one massive fat RON will confront you come Saturday night.

You literally pull the most stupid and unquantified facts out a hat. Chris has outlined how weak and wrong your sweeping statements are, so perhaps it's best to say nothing as you're simply so misinformed.

What goes on 'up there' isn't necessarily what actually happens in the real world.

Ron; I feel sorry for Chris E.

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Jason Rose Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

It was a serious point that was blown out of proportion because Chris asked about improving. As far as I was aware, P/L/001 was available and that was the one used last year. Just thought I'd ask.

And YSTV and URY are hopefully going to get their own proper facilities in Hes East in the next 5-10 years... I'd just check with the university as to whether that's still on the table ;) I think I will do during the hols, actually :P Award winning media deserve award winning studios!

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Chris Northwood Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

From my discussions with YSTV at least, it's not on the table and the future of YSTV when Goodricke is demolished is very uncertain.

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MIke Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

YSTV have been without studios for a while before. When they moved out of PX store, the station was effectively defunct until they managed to gain space in Goodricke as part of a wider reshuffle of teaching rooms in the nucleus.

There's no guarantee that the station will have space on Heslington East. It doesn't make any money for the university and therefore probably can't justify the initial costs associated with new facilities when there are current facilities available.

Don't hold me to this, but I think Goodricke Nucleus is safe from demolition for now. It's becoming James College. Or at least the plan to rename Goodricke Way 'James Way' and the plan for james to have McQ's are up for discussion.

Hes East phase one is accommodation only. Phase two is academic teaching space only. No plans on SU facilities as of yet.

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Anon Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

"It doesn't make any money for the university and therefore probably can't justify the initial costs associated with new facilities when there are current facilities available."

The only "facilities" the university would need to provide would be a couple of rooms and a suitable mains power system. All of the broadcast equipment is owned by YSTV itself, so moving would require a lot of time and effort, but not a lot else.

The more important question is what happens when the TFT department gets its facilities on Hes East. Would YSTV be expected to move out of Goodricke and use their resources after teaching hours? If so, the society would drastically change from how it operates now and would probably just turn into more of a social club for TFT students rather than a proper student society open to all.

As you say though, the plan is for James to extend into Goodricke, so hopefully there would be no benefit in the university moving YSTV if the buildings are staying. As long as Greg Dyke is Chancellor, YSTV should be safe since he got them the space in Goodricke when they were chucked out of physics to make space for chairs!

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Rosamund Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

Whatever the techie issues were, it wasn't transferring to the online feed, which after being refreshed a couple of times worked perfectly for the whole production. Nice job YSTV.

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Michael R.T.R. Child Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

My favourite part was when everyone said "goodbye" in the style of University Challenge - so ridiculous.

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