The Keg History and Press

The Radical Beer Faction: The Early Years

Since its inception in 1905 the AMS has been gouging the life out of the students of UBC. What do the students have to show for it? A sore ass and 39 bucks less in the bank. How many UBC students really benefited from the million dollars spent campaigning for the release of political prisoners in East Timor?

In 1988 a group of visionaries looked at what the AMS was doing with their cash and said "Wait a fucking minute here! This bunch of numbnuts are blowing my money on new benches and campaigning for the release of some hostage in who knows where. Let's take over the AMS council and do something that would actually benefit the students of UBC."

Thus the Bloc Physsoc was formed. The bloc entered the next AMS election and won several positions on council, but never seized any real power.

By 1989 it was clear that the current members of the Bloc were becoming softened by the cushy chairs they had been occupying. The Radical Beer Faction was formed to deal with student politics the way it should be dealt with. Drunk.

Press Clippings

Ubyssey, January 29th, 1991
Unity slate sweeps executive elections
by Michael Booth

The Unity slate romped to victory in all five positions in last week's AMS executive elections--the first time since 1974 that a single slate has swept the annual executive races.

With a voter turnout of only eight percent of the student body, the Unity slate of Jason Brett (president), Shawn Tagseth (vice-president), Martin Ertl (administration), Ranjit Bharaj (finance), and Kelly Guggisberg (external affairs) scored decisive wins over independents and two rival slates: the Radical Beer Faction slate and the Progressive slate.

"We;ve made alot of promises and now we have no excuse for not keeping them," Brett said. "We're really happy and we think we're going to do a great job.

"With all of us working together, we'll be able to do 70 percent of the work and accomplish twice as much."

The biggest surpise of the elections was the strong performance of the Radical Beer Faction candidates. The Faction's candidates finished second in three of the positions even though they openly took the proceedings in a lighter vein than their opponents.

The Faction's presidential candidate, Ari Giligson, said "it was a good race and I'm sure it will be a good year even though it won't be as fun as it would if we had gotten in."

A subdued Mark Keister, campaign manager for the Progressives, said he thought the elections were the most democratic in years. "I'm disappointed but I guess running a left-leaning slate in AMS elections is like running a Socred in East Van--it's an uphill battle," Keister said.

"I'm still very pro-slate and even though I disagree with the slate that won, I believe that this was more democratic than previous elections because the presence of slates made it less of a personality contest." Keister added that, "Now the AMS is officially right-wing as opposed to the unofficial right wing groups which have controlled it before."

Brett, however, disagreed with this statement and added, "Right wing, left wing; we're trying to keep ideas like that out of student government."

AMS archivist Bruce Armstrong said slates are not a new phenomenon in AMS elections. Armstrong said in 1974-75, a slate dubbed "the Student's Coalition" swept the elections. The following year, the executive was split between representatives of the Student's Coalition and a Student Unity slate.

"There have been formal slates since then but they haven't been elected," Armstrong said. "In the 1982-83 elections, a "Progressive" slate ran but none of them got elected."

Results were unavailable for the Senate and Board of Governors elections. Results from these positions are being held by the UBC Registrar's office and will not be released untiltwo working days after polls closed; sometime late Tuesday.

Five referendum questions were also on the ballots but, because only eight per cent of the student body voted, all failed due to lack of quorum--the support of 10 per cent of the student body.

Campus Times, January 12, 1993
Radical Beer Faction to Run Again
by Aaron Drake

The RBF is back in action.

UBC's longest lived political slate plans to run again in the AMS executive elections and also plans to continue their successful platform of not wanting to be elected.

The Radical Beer Faction, the brainchild of Science student Erik Jensen was formed "as a cynical comment on the number of slates running."

Two years ago, Jensen, with ex-SUS president Ari Giligson, formed the Radical Beer Faction, and ran in the AMS executive election.

"It was a reaction," said campaign manager Jason Russell, "to the tendency for slates to be formed. We just did it as a joke."

The joke, however, was on the RBF, when they took 31% of the popular vote. Vice-Presidential candidate Erik Jensen barely missed being elected to the AMS, but was narrowly beaten by Shawn Tagseth.

"It was a bit of a scare," admitted Jensen.

As a matter of fact, the RBF may have won the election if they had campaigned. Their only expenses that year were twenty dollars for photocopise of a few posters. In comparison, the winning slate spent almost $700 campaigning for the positions. Campaign manager Jason Russell attributes the initial success of the RBF to himself. "I think I was good as a campging manager because I never did anything."

When the RBF ran for office last year with Jensen and the EUS president Adam LaRusic heading the slate, they didn't receive as much support. They actively campaigned for the seats, and also received support from the Engineering Undergraduate Society. For every day of voting, the RBF held a free beer garden at the Cheeze Pub, the EUS headquarters.

However, they received less than 25% of the vote.

The EUS subsidized the RBF, paying for the kegs of beer. The RBF did not get reimbursed for their campaing expenses, even though they were eligible for it.

"Colwyn [Sunderland], who was running for Director of Finance," said Jensen, "in typical RBF fashion, never got around to collecting the refund."

It is expected that the RBF will be represented by Jensen, SUS President Carmen McKnight, 432 editor Ryan McCuaig, ex-SUS president Ari Giligson, leaving one position yet to be filled.

The ideal candidate, according to Jensen would be outgoing, energetic, cynical, and, of course, would love beer.

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