Wednesday, December 01, 2004


As Liam points out in the first entry of his NOLS memoirs, "faction" is a nasty word (I'd even go so far as to say it is a dirty word).

I encourage you all to go over and read this first entry. By all accounts, Liam appears to be giving an honest and straightforward account. Like Brent Houghton, I admire Liam's courage in writing about his experiences. There is no doubt that there is political risk in writing frankly.

Liam, as an old hack, makes this insightful point.
Meetings are the basic unit of student politics. There is no way to understand what is going on without being able to read and follow the flows of a meeting. The moment of epiphany when you realise that you are not baffled, frustrated and intimidated, but actually fascinated and involved, carries its own small sense of joy. The fear of speaking wears off when you realise that your involvement is an exercise, no more, and you stop taking things personally. You say to yourself 'This is fun'. And then, when you get your procedural motion carried, you can sit back and call yourself a student politician.
Meetings are the life-blood of student politics, as he points out. They are the currency in which deals are made and paid. Being confident in a meeting is one of the most powerful things in a faction. Confidence and being articulate are solid gold. And while getting your procedural motion carried can be uplifting, having your motion crushed overwhelmingly can make you pretty damn pissed off (remember kids: insults need to be fatal, otherwise the injured party will stew and stew).


  • At December 02, 2004 12:18 am, Blogger Keith Tan said…

    "Confidence and being articulate are solid gold."

    Except when people go on and on for 10 minutes about the same things repeatedly. Being concise is important too I reckon.

  • At December 02, 2004 7:49 am, Blogger Alex said…

    That would be part of articulate. If you can't say what you want in a simple and concise manner, then you aren't very articulate.

  • At December 03, 2004 12:47 pm, Blogger Liam said…

    Oh, don't worry, I'll be getting to the boring and the stupid in my own good time.

    Like the habit of people best left unnamed (for the moment) of putting up a controversial motion then immediately moving a procedural gag motion on everyone else. Big smacks!


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