Referendums & reefers: Exeposé Editorial 29/02/16

SHOULD we stay or should we go? We’re asking the question so much these days we’re in danger of sounding like The Clash. Another NUS referendum (the second in as many academic years at Exeter), conveniently placed slapped bang right in the middle of exams, seems a little excessive if you ask us. There are certainly valid arguments for leaving the organisation, not least due to the hefty administrative costs associated with membership, but one has to question the wisdom and timing of another referendum, so soon after Exeter decisively voted to stay in the union in December 2014. Questions too, must be asked of the procedure that has been introduced by the Guild; allowing any candidate able to garner 450 votes in the Sabb elections to propose something that could have huge implications on the entire student population hardly seems democratic or fair. Did Paul Rota actually want to win the position of Welfare & Diversity, or did he just run in order to force through his Manifesto Idea? Whatever the outcome of the referendum in May, we’re just hoping this vote will finally settle the question of NUS membership for the foreseeable future.

With the world currently rife with referendums, we’re all constantly being asked for our say. Fitting, then, that the University spend £30,000 on rebranding the MACE system for student feedback? Our other front page story this week looks into the failings of the new and oh-so-costly Accelerate system. The module evaluation system has seen slight changes – they’ve added a rainbow to the logo, how lovely – yet despite the massive cash injection, it’s still not managing to encourage greater engagement rates. With lecturers dissatisfied and students still too lazy, was this investment a worthy one? Considering our story revealing the dreadfully underfunded Wellbeing Centre, wouldn’t money be better injected into the necessary yet neglected support for student mental health? It’s Mental Health Awareness Week this week and Sophie Harrison’s shocking story (page 3) – forced to leave Uni to receive quicker treatment elsewhere – it seems no better time to pressure the University into listening to its suffering students. After investigating the issue, it’s also clear that an eating disorder specialist is becoming increasingly necessary. Let’s focus on accelerating Wellbeing’s expansion, rather than throwing £30k at a futile feedback form.

Elsewhere in the paper, Science & Tech have dropped (not literally!) a snazzy eight page drugs and alcohol themed pullout. Informed by a survey into Exeter students narcotic habits, the pullout poses worrying questions about Exeter students dependency on substances (illegal or otherwise) in order to have a good time. Is our alcohol intake having serious implications for our health? Should some less harmful drugs be legalised in order to be better monitored and make their consumption safer? Pick up our pullout to find out more.

On the subject of legality, Features have been chatting to President of the Supreme Court Lord Neuberger about all things law related. Neuberger has oft exerted his influence in the realms of human rights, mental health and even the ever-growing threat of social media. For the full interview, check out page 12. On a slightly less heavy note, Lifestyle have been stripping down, and then redressing two students with exceptionally different fashion tastes on page 17. It’s an Exeposé Restyle, but not as we know it.

Finally, it’s been a huge week for the Athletic Union, with two varsities and a South-West Derby taking place in Exeter. Sport have got all bases covered with two sexy spreads and all the details of EUMHC, EULHC and EURFC’s victories on one of the most memorable BUCS Wednesdays in recent history. Head to pages 3

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