Reply to: Reply to: The Future of QUBMC……

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Steve, So I’ve been mulling over whether to respond at all to your post regarding the “Future of QUBMC” and your observations. Reading the range of comments above it’s clear that your post has touched a few nerves. I’m not sure what the intended outcome from your post really was. I mean, was this a genuine concern you are voicing or are you playing devil’s advocate?

You’ve posed a few questions, ones that perhaps I can help answer as well. However, in turn there are some that perhaps you can answer as well.

First off – I’ll give my opinions about the current state of the club. Most people here I’m sure would agree with what I’ll say, and would have most likely have heard this from me before.

I firmly believe the current committee is too old. Average age is 22/23 years old, and most positions are held by people in PhD’s or full time work. For a student club, I would say that is not a great sign. I also believe that experience levels are not as high as in previous years (without stating the classic “In my day…), and that we have struggled to retain lots of Freshers each year. I will gladly hold my hand up and say I am a part of this problem, but I will give reasons below. So your impressive observational skills from England are ones that I am in agreement with.

However – it is the causes you have cited, the cliques and lack of desire to teach I find are completely incorrect. The easiest way to refute every single one of those observations is with simple stats.

Pub Sessions (Tuesdays):

Since the start of the year, the pub sessions have been very well attended. At the height I counted 45 people in the Bot after climbing. This is also indicative of the numbers at the wall that night.

Freshers Trip:

Freshers trip this year was maxed out at 70 people paying to attend. I came down late on the Friday having got a lift with Stuart after running a Scout meeting. Arriving in to the cottage we were told there was only 35 people on the trip now. At least 35 people didn’t bother to turn up, despite having paid to go. The reasons we got in the end was because it was raining.
SO… if you are going to ask any older person to justify giving up time and effort for people who join a MOUNTAINEERING club, but opt out of the most social trip of the year because of the weather, then good luck with that!

Donegal Trip:

I didn’t attend, had a deadline for the Monday, but by all accounts it was a very good trip, with lots of Freshers there!

Wickow Trip:

First time it has been run in a long time. Again, half the trip list were freshers!

Scotland Trip:

I organised this trip. We had 7 Freshers on the trip, with 7 older members (of which 4 of them were doing their first ever winter leads that trip!). Logistically it was difficult, and we could not for safety reasons take anymore freshers on the trip. I will now refrain from fully voicing my opinion on this trip regarding certain new people and their conduct socially and climbing wise (those who know the reasons will understand that the forum is really not the place for it!).

The stats very simply prove that the club is in fact in good shape with membership.

Regarding teaching – the issue of teaching can be broken down pretty simply. There are people who join the club to learn to climb, and those who join the club to be brought climbing. There is a MASSIVE difference. The number of people who join the club and come down to the wall once in a blue moon and ask to be belayed to the top of the wall is what puts older members off getting involved during club times. Everyone who joins the club is big enough and ugly enough to realise that they must learn to look after themselves, otherwise they will be told where to go. It’s not abdication of responsibility if we have taught them all the basics and are commencing on advanced stuff, only for somebody to come down to the wall for the first time in three weeks and expect to be babysat.

I haven’t been down as much this year due to a heavy work load with my PhD, plus a huge commitment now to running my Scout troop – so I have not done much teaching. However, to highlight that there is a lack of teaching and integration in the club from observations made several hundred miles away is ridiculous and a slap in the face to the genuine hard work put in by Alex, Cadden, Anthony, Jonny, Matt, Cecilia (I’m going to stop naming names as I could go on forever/might leave too many people out!). If anything, its quite insulting to them.

Regarding paying for trips. Frankly I agree with Stuart – that is a very rude statement/observation to make. What you are essentially doing is calling into question the integrity of club members regarding the finances of the club. There may have been issues in the past with the Ski Club, but I can assure you that in the 5 years I have been in the Mountaineering Club, we have never had an issue of club members profiting from trips.

Initially I laughed at the post, but having now written the response, I’m kind of a bit angry.

They say that everyone is entitled to an opinion. Well, in my honest opinion – your opinion is bollocks!


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