We’re nearing the end of the Guild Election tragi-comedy and the race is still wide open to become the University’s Next Top Model Puppet. Forum Hill is awash with swaths of campaigners armed with false smiles, Guildspeak and impressively indulgent social media campaigns. But there are alternatives out there. These candidates don’t coerce their mates into standing in the freezing cold with a lazy slogan emblazoned on a t-shirt. Instead they float at the margins and let their manifesto do the talking.
We’ve chosen to shine a light on some of these dark horses for this years’ popularity contest. Read and critique, but know that your vote won’t make any difference whatsoever.
WELFARE AND DIVERSITY CANDIDATES
Name: Anne Imal Wrights
Slogan: Anne Imal Wrights Matter
We live on a campus dogged by damaging and regressive binary relations that stifle social harmony. For too long humanism has been our governing paradigm. Placing humans at the centre of our campus has only served to perpetuate greed, oppression and cruelty to animals. I have taken it upon myself to deconstruct the arbitrary distinctions between humans and animals and other naturalised binaries. It is my aim to establish a “post-diversity” campus in which all beings can live in convivial harmony without labels. All ostensible differences will become obsolete.
- Serve vegan-only food on campus (meat is murder).
- Abolish anthropocentricism: decenter the human by allowing animals to enrol in courses.
- Abolish all country societies as they proliferate false ideas of nationality and difference.
- Ban the use of animal onesies in future Guild Election campaigns as they perpetuate a human-animal hierarchy.
Name: Nigel English
Course: English, naturally.
Slogan: ENGLISH DEGREES FOR ENGLISH PEOPLE
I represent the protest anti-vote. I think that welfare encourages dependency and diversity is threatening English culture. I’ve had it with these foreign immigrants coming over here and taking all our student degrees that should be saved for ENGLISH PEOPLE. I will agitate for a student referendum on letting EU students into the University and will lobby for another visit from the Queen. In my spare time I am Social Sec for UKIP Society and love boozing on ale.
- Scrap bursaries and loans – I’m tired of people getting benefits they don’t deserve. The whole system encourages female students to have kids and milk the Uni’s budget that could be spent on putting up the St George flag around campus.
- Abolish mental health centers – anyone with a little headache needs to man up.
- Put a cap on student immigration – the foreigners are taking over. In certain parts of campus you can’t even hear the English language.
- Scrap all degrees other than English.
VP EDUCATION CANDIDATES
Name: Judith Fuccio
Course: Third year English
Slogan: DECONSTRUCT, DECONSTRUCT, DECONSTRUCT
Take a walk through the obviously phallic Forum on an average day and you’d be forgiven for assuming language is a stable and rational structure. As VP Education I would do away with this myth, and aim to ensure each student comes to understand the arbitrary nature of the signifier-signified relationship.
- Decentre the centre: the campus system must be replaced with a rhizomatically structured institution. The Forum will be moved to our Cornwall Campus. Sir Steve Smith must abdicate.
- Deconstruct the boundaries: to promote intersectionality and break down borders all students will be given a randomly constructed timetable each week.
- De-spell the myths: think your identity is cohesive and internal? Think again. And again. Keep thinking. Only in thought can you resist the hegemony.
VP ACTIVITIES CANDIDATE
Name: Richie Hawkins
Course: Biological Sciences
Exeter is a thriving example of a 21st century university; thanks to the wonders of science, we’ve got rotatable chairs with their own plugs, a see-through roof in the Forum and more disabled loos than you could ever dream of visiting. I would like to ask, then, whether religion really has a place in our campus activities.
No. The answer is no. It doesn’t.
- No more God-houses: Why do we have a chapel on campus, costing the students probably thousands of pounds, when we could use the ground it rests on as a launch pad? The Muslim prayer room could house at least three PlayStations as well.
- E-C-U-Later: all religious societies will be issued with a brightly-coloured uniform in order to stop them catching you off-guard with a big, stupid question.
- Ban the Pope: he hasn’t visited yet, but if he wants to, I’ll make sure he’s excluded from all campus buildings. Including the Lemmy.
GUILD PRESIDENT CANDIDATES
Name: Eli Z. Benjamin
Course: Third Year Philosophy Student
Slogan: Not the Change You Want, But The Change You Need.
Do you feel alienated, disenfranchised and just generally like no one is on your level of consciousness? Do you feel weighed down by the banal chit-chat of your idiotic peers? As guild president, I promise to get your unique, original voice heard in this increasingly homogenized, puppet-factory we call University and to deliver a more bespoke, ergonomic experience for you at Exeter.
Having never had any role of responsibility within the University or, in fact, in general, apart from occasionally babysitting my Uncle Pete’s kids, I believe this makes me perfectly qualified to represent you, the ordinary Exeter student, because I know what it’s like to be ordinary. It’s shit.
- “Let Them Eat Cake” – Err, no thanks!
It’s time to deal with the obvious issue of cake sales taking over the Forum. Remember when Marie Antoinette told the French peasants to eat cake when they couldn’t afford bread? Well, this is basically the same. Also, most of them aren’t even Gluten or Dairy free, so not only are cake sales blatantly endorsing 18th Century French Bourgeoisie ideologies, but they’re also discriminatory. #NoIDon’tWantACakeThanksImGlutenIntolerant
- Down with the Stash-ists!
You know when you see someone wearing a sweater indicating they’re part of a society, or worse yet, a sports club, and you think, “what a mindless zombie, desperately trying to give meaning to their shallow, insignificant lives?” Well, I want to bring an end to such thoughts and ban all stash outright. #DownWithTheStashists
- Hyperbolic Bollocks
The greatest threat to society is hyperbole. More and more students are thinking it acceptable to say things like “Arena is literally, like, the best night ever!” and “Oh my god, I fucking love your new stash!” Such utterances will be punished appropriately and lessons on how to correctly use the English language – a week specifically focusing on the ACTUAL meaning of the word “literally” – will be mandatory for everyone. #HyperBollocks
Name: Comar Lopo
Slogan: Go More Comore!/ Cum on Comar
I candidate enjoys girls, parties and money, but mostly money. We all know that the university is actually a front for a highly lucrative members club that share all the profits, and we should all want in.
- I will maintain the exceptional relationship of extreme hatred with the local plebs that Exeter students maintain on a nightly basis.
- I will get the Ram to start serving champagne breakfasts.
- I will get the University of Exeter logo onto Formula 1 cars.
- I am distantly related to Marco Polo.