So Long and Thanks for All the Fish

Deputy President (Finance & Services)

Well, it has been an incredible year. I have tried (and probably mostly failed) to keep my nerd tendancies in check this year but in my final farewell blog I will be letting my geek shine through as I say 'So long and thanks for all the fish' please don't misinterpret this as a surprisingly sophisticated attempt to do a tripple backflip through a hulahoop while whistling the star spangled banner. I have managed with this Blog to hit a dozen throughout the year and have broken the trend of DPFSes past to be the Officer Trustee with the fewest, reversing this and winning the covetted Sabb Blog off Trophy for the year. Spending so much of the year sat infront of a screen doing one thing or another I now feel I could pass the opposite of a Turing test. And on any given test convince people that I was a bona fida machine myself.

I have achieved many things over the year that I am proud of and of course worked hard on some things that I have not managed to accomplish. The Union still does not (in my opinion) have a robust and workable plan in the event of a Zombie apocalypse for instance, though the infamous Sci-Fi library does (as far as I know) consider such a plan an essential qualification for the election a new Chairentity*. In all seriousness, the Higher Education Funding debate has filled up a lot of my time this year and while I'm proud to have achieved what I think is a really robust policy and begun getting traction with Paliamentary candidates in the election campaign it is one thing that there is so much more to do on and I really hope that next year's team can help get you all mobilised and start really raising your voices during the new Parliament to make College and our representatives in the House of Commons take what we say seriously and support STEM education and research as well as Higher Education in general. 

My successor Chris and the team of new Sabbs have some big projects thrust upon them from this year. I hope to see them finish off a lot of work we've been doing on governance, the union's strategy, the new bar in Acton and work I've been more heavily involved in like reviewing the way Staff and Students interact and their role in generating policy as well as Felix's relationship with the Union and the expectations we put on Grace and her team in coming years. We like to say that 'We are the voice of all Students' but that is because of things like Felix raising that voice as part of the Union.

There are a huge number of people I would like to thank for this year. But particularly the other sabbs; Tom, Pascal, Chris (who will boldly be going where no DPW has gone before when he moves across to the F&S office) not to forget Philippa and Dariush who may not be Officer Trustees but much like Pluto will remain the 6th and 7th planets in my Sabb system whatever someone may say about planetoids. Finally of course my long suffering officemate Abi - who has had to put up with sharing an office with a grumpy old man like me all year, my love of terrible music (seriously, I played prog rock in here and everything) and generally deserves my gratitude for managing not to cast me into the fires of Mount Doom (not to be confused with blue cube) this year.

Finally, I'd like to take a selfish moment to say that this year the world lost a number of incredible people, as I and the team from this year move on I'd like to take a moment to look at how much the world has changed since I arrived at University (in the dark age of 2006) and personally remember two greats of my childhood. Leonard Nimoy (better known as Spock to many millions of Star Trek Fans) and Sir Terry Pratchett who brought joy, laughter and satire to a world the shape of a pizza atop four elephants riding a tortoise through the long night. And I would like to leave you with one quotation from each of them:

A word of advice about exam season from Sir Terry - 'Of course, it is very important to be sober when you take an exam. Many worthwhile careers in the street- cleansing, fruit-picking and subway-guitar-playing industries have been founded on a lack of understanding of this simple fact.'

And of course, the best way to end almost anything from Mr Spock - 'Live long, and Prosper' 



*ICSF are non-discrimiatory as to species and in fact would quite like to be chaired by a small furry creature from Alpha Centauri. 




Alex Savell



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