Wednesday, 21 November 2007

EUSA-less Annual General Meeting 2007

The EUSA AGM was no surprise - totally bloody EUSA-less! Representation from the left-wing mafia was strong, with People & Planet and the Labour Party as always making the biggest contributions. As they make up the guaranteed turnout, the concept of informed, sensible and most importantly fair debate became somewhat of a fantasy...

One of the motions involved creating more offices for the operation of the Union building. This is typical of EUSA, create new jobs, new sub-committees, but never get ANYTHING done!

A friend of mine recently hosted an event at Teviot. Despite representing a leading Edinburgh society, he had to present his problems to no less than seven separate managers within the Union building, more often than not repeating himself each time, with the assurance that none of the people he had spoken to about the event would even be present on the night; instead a deputy (no doubt poorly briefed) would be there. This kind of bureaucracy and inefficiency stinks of a poorly run organisation.

Then onto the totally meaningless motions to try and stop RBS investing in oil extraction, to put pressure on TOTAL Oil to stop causing strife in Burma. You would think that EUSA had representation at the G8 for Christ's sake. Some sensible people stood up and explained that EUSA was so far removed from the decision making processes in these huge multinational corporations that it could better invest it's own political capital in more realistic causes; they were of course shouted down by the People & Planet mob.

There was no debate, no two sides to the argument, an absurd "let's-take-a-rough-guess" voting system which was moderated by the hardly unbiased sabbaticals (congratulations to the poor sod who tried to get a recount done) and while everyone was patting themselves on the back for getting so many matriculated students to turn up and vote, this was apparently the first time in five years that the meeting had achieved quorum (300 students). In FIVE YEARS!

Then again, all those people turned up, but they left just before the most important bit - the EUSA finances. Tom French, EUSA Vice President of Services, stood up and delivered a brief on the last years accounts. It made for terrible reading, though sadly not enough people were there to read it. With a turnover of something like £7m, EUSA only managed a pitiful profit of around £125,000. He correctly pointed out that EUSA revenue relies far too heavily on festival income, and while this is all very good at the moment, the financial security of the festival is looking increasingly less viable as competition increases.

According to some EUSA-less sources, the figures he put up on his presentation were made up anyway, or at least misrepresented. EUSA is still suffering in a big way financially, and, dry subject matter as it may seem, that money is your money. Especially if you are an English student paying tuition fees.

Tom French then hurried through a vote for the next years budget.


EUSA-less has posted on the EUSA forum twice asking for information about this budget, but our posts were deleted by no less than TONY FOSTER, communications adviser to EUSA and the recipient of an exceedingly generous pay package (more on this later). The EUSA forums, supposedly a safe environment for students to air legitimate grievances, are being policed by an overpaid propaganda spouting mercenary...He will no doubt attempt to track down the source of this blog and put us out, but we will prevail!

We will now attempt to retrieve this mythical document "the budget" from EUSA, but our first attempts have proved futile.