Monday, 12 March 2012

Lambs to the Slaughter: FSFC Elections Day One

Reconstruction of FSFC Hustings 2012
Film - Gladiator

I’m stood at the back of the back, behind the glass, in a corridor jammed with people trying to see through the window into a room packed like a sardine can full of baying crowds and swaying candidates. Whilst the outside world carries on as normal, the people of Farnborough Sixth Form College are on the edge of their seats – whether they’re standing in the crowd, staring through the windows, or packed around the monitors that echo the event around the buildings – because today is the beginning of the elections, and the first day of hustings.

Hustings – a slightly adjusted definition for those of you who don’t know - go a little bit like this: an innocent line of Student Association candidates go up on-stage (In order of office position that they are running for) in front of an audience encouraged to heckle, let off balloons, and generally bay for their blood in a way that should wean out the weaker candidates and sent them running in tears from the stage – an occurrence which happened/nearly happened a surprising amount of times. Whilst the audience are booing and throwing around phallic-shaped inflatables, the candidates are meant to entertain or subdue the audience - or in even rarer cases - actually make a speech and talk about what they would do if they were elected.

I stood outside in the corridor, making casual banter with other onlookers, and trying not to flinch too obviously when another person came on stage and the crowd let out a roar of convincing blood lust. A skinny little dude with a sheet of paper and the microphone comes on stage, with a smile reminiscent of a man trying to play the charm offensive with an unfed alligator. He raises his arms in a feeble attempt to get everyone cheering and the corridor spectators simultaneously sigh – he’s trying to get them ‘hyped’. The sound that follows is neither booing nor cheering – just a kind of confused ‘Uh…’ as if the crowd is collectively saying ‘Are you serious? How’re you going to dance with all that in your hands?’

With equal amounts of sadistic entertainment and disappointing lack of thought processes, I watched as the crowd verbally butchered candidate after candidate after knee-knocking, nail-biting candidate. There was no discrimination – if you walked onto the stage, you received at least some kind of boo – but the thing is, the people who got the worst of it were the people who seemed to have some kind of speech, idea, or manifest to propose to the audience. It seemed like the only way to get a positive response was to be good at dancing, singing or rapping.

With the exception of one or two people - namely Tegan’s honest bid for Publications Officer and Lucy’s routine for Communications Officer (She was half naked, dressed as a telephone, dancing to dubstep – excuse me for finding that both hot, clever and entertaining) – there was about as much sense made on that stage as there was in the audience. I looked down at which nominees were speaking today – Sports, Communications, Publications and Events. Then I thought about what I had seen – a girl dressed as a nun doing a number of dance routines, a man in a wetsuit, and someone trying to rap Lady Gaga.

Maybe it was the countless heads bobbing in the way, the glass clouding my view and the incomprehensible shouting contest between candidate and audience, but the whole thing made little to no sense. A certain degree of crowd mentality is understandable, but at which point do you think what you’re doing is a good idea? Is it when you’re writing your rap-manifesto crossover? Is it when you’re practicing the Macarena in front of your bedroom mirror? Or is it when you’re climbing into your nun costume? At which point did you think, ‘Damn, people are going to vote for this!’

All I can hope for is that as the week goes on begin people use their heads, and that when faced with a ballot paper outside of a baying crowd, people can make good decisions. Hopefully the people of Farnborough Sixth Form can do that, and maybe, just maybe – we might get a good line up for the Student Association 2013.

- Lewis

5 comments:

  1. 'Paragraph of praise' :)

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  2. Got any pics/videos? I missed it. Namely because there wasn't enough room.

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    1. There'll probably be videos put up at the end of hustings like last year. As for pictures they're pretty hard to come by (Believe me I tried) but there was a guy taking some for the college. I'll be covering the rest of the week, but you can try to watch it on the monitors (Not sure if it's audible though).

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  3. Lewis' friend13 March 2012 at 00:13

    What about the girl who was too nervous to sing whilst strumming her ukelele and ended up just strumming twice as the croud boo'ed then exited the stage in floods of tears?

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  4. 1st years be hating because none of you can vote for Russell.

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