Ramblings of a Melvin...

Ok, I've taken the title of this blog from someone else's post but I agree with the sentiments it puts out.

Recently Twitter have made a "Small Settings Change" to the way twitter works.
This "Small Settings Change" mentioned on the twitter blog isn't optional, its been forced down your throat and you have to swallow the fundemental changes they have made to the way twitter functions by removing the partial discussions aka replies between people, you can still see mentions IE @usernames in the middle of text, but following random people your friends know through reading conversations and thus extending the social web seems to be a thing of the past.

While I may not know the technical reasons for the changes its already started a huge wave to move across the twitterverse, various Retweets (RTs) and hashtags (#fixreplies) are already in circulation to make the point of how they disagree with the new changes to the way twitter functions.

@Scotthepburn put it best methinks - "OMG! I'm in a Bar and can only hear conversations between people i know! Its so quiet! This place is lame...I'm leaving."

This fundementally prevents people taking part in conversations that spark their interest between their friends and "new" friends they could find through further conversations. Maybe its just me but I don't like what they are doing


Anywhoo, I've got an exam tomorrow to finish preparing for, catch you all later

[ Entry posted at: Wed 13 May 2009 08:11:05 UTC | Comments: 55 | Cat: Geeky ]

This Was written by a friend of mine and is a group on Facebook -


You'd assume that University Unions are run by students... you'd be wrong, under changes proposed and being voted on Wednesday and Thursday, students lose the right to democracy and the powers they currently hold for no good good reason. This is not due to changes in the law:

The Charities Commmission has informed us that there are no major changes to the law regarding Swansea Union's Constitution since 2002. (November/December 2007).

The University is not happy with the changes to the Constitution - they have not been conveyed properly and the changes are shrouded under a mist of deciet.

The major change that is moving into effect is one where the students - the heart of the Union - can no longer control what is happens.

I highly expect a Sabb to appear on the wall to declare there is not a problem with the new Constitution - with no explanation of the word 'Veto'

Combining poorly advertised Sabbatical Elections, and merging an even POORER campaign to 'inform' the Union of the changes to the Constitution and that that this the Consittution is shoved under in such a way you instinctively vote 'yes'.

Naturally though... the constant reminders of the very vital '1 Day Sale of SUMMER BALL TICKETS! LOL!' - which... you guessed coincides with the Constitution and Sabbatical Elections on Wednesday... suggests where the true motives may lie.

How does this effect you?
Whether you are a student at Swansea or not, the changes here will affect you. What occurs at one University can easily set a precedent for the next, domino theory...
If we the Students cant retain our right to democracy than lord help our country.

Summary of the Changes:
1. Executive Decision Making Power drops to the elected Sabbatical officers and 3 'independent Co-opted Trustees' - a 1/3rd of those involved are not invovled with the Union at all... combined these two groups are now refered to as 'Trustees'
2. Audit Committee can be chaired by 3 Trustee members - essentially the Trustees are checking AND validating their own Audit... *Cough*ENRON*Cough*
3. Trustees have the power to Veto without explanation anything that can be construed as negative financial impact.
4. Executive Committee (which includes the 6 Sabbs and the part-time executive committee members – but they can be overruled by the Trustees ‘but only with good financial and legal decision…’ *Hmmm*
5. Student General Meetings – drop to consultive bodies but would be able to send recommendations to the referenda or the Exec. However, they will have no power to make policy unless they get 3% of the Student Population to vote… that’s 3-400 people at one SGM… *and the largest Lecture Theatre is 280 seats or so…* AND this can be VETOED without explanation beyond it being a negative financial impact… “for example campaign that may possibly cost £1 can be rejected on these grounds…”

This follows on from being able to freely advertise events at other bars other than Oceania… no consultation of the Union was taken… so much for the *Union*…

This follows in a year when:
1.SGMs have been suddenly changed at short notice – and announced at short notice
2. Motions have been overulled that allowed students to be ethical traders
3. The publicity of the Constitution has been one sided and a smear campaign has been conducted.
4. Internal Audit papers were not available when requested by parties until the AGM where they would be fully ratified, a watered down version was presented to the assembled students – students were confused into believing there would be a second chance to review the Audit Papers publically.
5. £30,000 of the ringfenced for Student Nurse’s was spent to keep us afloat. This money was from the NHS to support student nurses and the SU has abused their and our trust.

If you are like me – disgusted by the culture of lies and deceit that has surrounded this process, the lack of consultation, the smear campaign, the move from an becoming an SU to effectively becoming a ‘Pseudo-Union”

This is our first chance to stop this campaign in its tracks – and force a backtrack. Those accountable have lied to us – the Students and the University – they must be held accountable for these actions.

Whether you are a student at Swansea University or not… in a week that has seen Unions moving away from free expression in London *UCL* and during the debate about ID Cards... the loss of democracy where it should thrive should chill the hearts of all involved.

[ Entry posted at: Wed 12 Mar 2008 11:39:30 UTC | Comments: 0 | Cat: Politics ]

Validate : XHTML / CSS / RSS / ATOM