GU president chaos continues

Betony Lloyd 10 October 2007

Beleaguered Graduate Union president Leo Shidai Liu came in for more flak this week after he failed to set up stall at the freshers’ fair.

Liu had a bumpy ride to the GU presidency after he was fired by returning officers for unfair campaigning – including personal approaches to voters and large-scale electioneering.

He was only saved by a top University don who intervened and judged he had been fired unfairly.

And in his first full week in charge Liu failed to represent the GU at the Kelsey Kerridge freshers’ fair after bungling his application.

The event, organised by Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) is aimed at new undergraduate and graduate students and is the best forum for societies to raise awareness and win new support.

But CUSU services officer Adam Colligan said: “In mid-summer Leo expressed a general interest in a kind of stall that we don’t offer.”

Organisers then contacted Liu in August to offer him space in a prominent section of the fair which had been kept free – but Liu turned it down.

And by failing to register the GU as an official University society, the hapless new president missed out altogether.

Liu phoned CUSU before the event but was told it was fully booked – and that confirmed stallholders would not lose their pitches to make way for the GU.

Colligan said: “We regret that Leo didn’t organise a presence at the fair this year through any of the three routes available.

“But with about 400 organisations coming to the fair, and CUSU organising half a dozen massive projects over the summer, we could only chase him up so much.”

Questions were also raised about Liu’s budgeting skills after he pledged GU support for a massive club night involving all 31 Cambridge colleges.

The night, known as ‘MCRevolution’, will be held at Revolution bar on Downing Street and the venue was secured in return for advertising space in the GU handbook.

Liu claimed the arrangement was “a very good deal” for the union.

But it could end up leaving him out of pocket after it emerged Liu had guaranteed organisers the graduate party-goers will spend at least £3,000 at the night on October 14.

If the bar tab comes up short, the GU will be forced to make up the difference.

Betony Lloyd