Can You Make It?

I loved going travelling a couple of years back. Setting off to South East Asia with my uni pals made me feel independent, cultured and experienced- I have still not stopped talking about it. The only thing we had pre-booked was our flight to Bangkok and from then we were free to go as we pleased, crashing wherever we could and doing whatever we wanted.

However, in classic Gap Yah fashion, my seven weeks of travelling were cushioned by the knowledge that I had a bank card in my back pocket with wealthy parents that could transfer money at a moment’s notice. And with a smartphone in the other pocket I was in constant touch with my, rather overprotective, mummy and daddy. In seven weeks I didn’t go longer than two days without being in touch with one of them via text or email.

Red Bull, the caffeinated hyper drink that can give you wings, is offering people the chance for an adrenaline funded travelling experience, asking teams to see how far they can get across Europe using only the cans of sugary goodness as currency. Not only a clever marketing strategy, this ‘Can You Make It?’ competition offers people a true character-building holiday.

Red Bull don’t just limit it to no money, however. The code of honour forbids personal mobile phones and pre-arranged travel, forcing participants in the competition to use their powers of persuasion to get from place to place.

In a world where we rely on mobile phones and bank cards to live, it seems that this task is near impossible. Who would accept a can of red bull in exchange for a train ticket?

These kind of stunts scare the shit outta me. I get freaked out trying to fly down to London on my own. My seven weeks in Asia were hard enough even when I was armed with my Blackberry and bank card. However, there is something so tempting in this offer from Red Bull because it seems so difficult. The teams that are able to complete such a difficult journey would come out of the end mature, strengthened and with tons of cool stories to tell.

So each participating team travels across Europe using only cans of Red Bull for currency. Teams visit checkpoints, share photos and videos, via a prescribed team phone, and rally support from followers at home. The finish line is in Berlin- the teams that complete the adventure on time will be greeted with the party of a lifetime. The deadline for applications is Wednesday the 12th of March so what are you waiting for? If you think you can make it, then get involved. All the details can be found here: http://www.redbullcanyoumakeit.com/.

-Claire Flynn

-Image courtesy of Sterling Ely (https://www.flickr.com/photos/sterlingely/)

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Student Elections at Glasgow University

I remember this time last year very well- the beginning of my fight for Libraries Convener. I was starting my daily (private) routine of crying hysterically in my room whilst punching my pillow at the same time. In public, however, I was all smiles. I soon had people spamming my manifesto and slogans across FaceBook and Twitter, alike. I even put a video of me dressed as Hagrid on YouTube in the hope of winning over a few extra people.

The year before last I was gearing up to help no less than five of my friends campaign to get their chosen position. The stress over whose profile picture I was going to use was intense. I eventually wound up swapping between my friends. On the actual days of the campaign I was out till the end, cold and miserable, flyering and chucking sweets at people just wanting to get to class. Everyone hated me.

In my first year, I was naive, sweet and innocent, with no idea of the kind of social media and campus frenzy student elections caused. I was still minding my own business and heading to class when the first pack of Haribo hit me in the face.

My point it this: whether you are going to be one of the innocent, unaware passer-bys on the day of elections, you will be throwing yourself right into the action by campaigning for one or numerous friends or you will be daring to run for a position yourself the upcoming student elections will affect you in some way. So let me give you the basics of the student bodies and their elections:

The Student Representative Council (SRC)

If you are a student at the University of Glasgow (which I’m assuming all of you reading this are) then you can vote in these elections, and you should. These guys represent the student body to the University and also help cater to many student interests and needs. With the dark days of Chizzy and Stuart Ritchie now past them the SRC have grown from strength to strength in recent years. This year the council, and particularly the sabbatical positions, prove to be hotly contested. And did I mention you can vote online? You don’t even need to leave your bed to have your say.

Glasgow University Sports Association (GUSA)

All gym members are eligible to vote in this one. These are the guys that represent student sporting interests to the SRS and do their best to ensure Glasgow University students have the best sporting opportunities possible. Last year positions on council were highly contested, with 7 out of the 12 positions opposed. Will this year be the same? There is already rumoured to be a presidential battle on the cards, automatically making it an interesting year for GUSA elections.

Queen Margaret Union (QMU)

Over the hill at the other Union, the QMU elections will take place. You must be a member of the QMU to vote in the elections. Pissed off about the name change of Cheesy Pop? Vote in someone that will change it back. Last year’s election was a mixed success for the QMU. Although many of the higher up positions were contested, there were some positions left unfilled and the voter turnout was rather disappointing compared to the other student bodies. What will this year have in store for the Queen Margaret Union?

Glasgow University Union

And lastly we have GUU’s Board of Management. You have to be a GUU member to vote in these elections. The Board run all the major events, deals and promotions at the Union so if you are a member you need to make your vote count. The difficult year behind the Union will doubtfully get better over the next so it is critical that a hard-working and innovative Board of Management is elected. Last year GUU elections were largely uncontested with only the PSM positions and Libraries Convener (just my luck) opposed but what will this year bring?

So read manifestos and make your vote count- it is likely one or more of these student bodies will matter a lot to you and your uni lifestyle. If you are a campaigner, try not to feel guilty about harassing people- you are doing it to help friends and ensure student involvement with elections. Lastly, good luck to those choosing to run for a position. As stressful and emotional the next month will be- it is all worth it in the end.*

*Please note that this is from a winner’s perspective. I have no idea how it feels to lose but I imagine it may not feel as worth the tears, money and time spent on campaigning.

-Claire Flynn

-Image courtesy of Chris Kueh (https://www.flickr.com/photos/chriskueh/)