‘Git Out’: CGCU Stunned as DoCSoc Votes to Leave the Union
Imperial DoCSoc,  1 April 2017

Imperial Computing Society has voted to LEAVE the City and Guilds College Union after a historic AGM in which members rejected the advice of committee leaders and instead took a plunge into the unknown.

The decision in favour of the exit, coined ‘Git Out’ in reference to the popular version control system, represents the biggest shock to the Union since the City and Guilds College merged with Imperial College in 1910. The result comes after months of debate and controversy in to the future of the society.

In the wake of the vote, the JMC Departmental Representative has pledged to hold an independence referendum “at the earliest opportunity”. Rachel Lee claimed it would be “democratically unacceptable” for JMC to be taken out of the Union against its own will, given that JMC and EIE students voted overwhelmingly to remain. In an earlier statement, she claimed that a vote to secede from DoCSoc could result in a ‘Department of JMC’ and subsequent ‘JMCSoc’ which could formally attempt to reenter CGCU.

However, many commentators have argued that an independent JMCSoc would be unlikely to be accepted into CGCU, due to the power of veto, held by the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Society (EESoc). EESoc faces a strong separatist movement from members studying EIE. EIE students currently have a joint sovereignty agreement in place, with sovereignty shared by DoCSoc and EESoc.

The President of the City and Guilds College Union, Milia Hasbani, said it was not a moment for hysterical reaction. Speaking on behalf of the seven engineering departmental societies, she said they were all determined to maintain unity.

The Chair of EESoc is in fact reported to have commented the result of the AGM meeting saying “It is a hard Git Out or no Git Out at all”. These words come after a decade-long fierce rivalry between DoCSoc and EESoc in being the leading society within CGCU, title acknowledgedly held by the former until now.

A dissenting opinion comes from the Chemical Engineering Society’s President: “DoCSoc doesn't stop being a big CGCU partner. As Professor Ian Hodkinson has shown on many occasions, almost all underperforming Computing students end up joining the Chemical Engineering Department, and it is in the best interests of ChemEngSoc, and indeed CGCU as a whole, to maintain good relations with DoCSoc”.

Pro-CGCU James Long, the President of DoCSoc who called for the vote to be held, resigned almost immediately after the result became clear. In his resignation speech, he said, “I will do everything I can as president to steady the ship over the coming days, but I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our society to its next destination.”

Long and Hasbani have been pictured together in the past.

Despite giving this assurance, Long resigned not many hours after the AGM, being temporarily replaced by current DoCSoc Secretary, Tom Bower. Many have criticised the lack of energy and passion in the campaigning of DoCSoc Stronger In CGCU - the official remain campaign, which Mr Long and Mr Bower both supported.

Acting President Tom Bower will today set out DoCSoc’s negotiating position, as Article 50 of the CGCU constitution is invoked later today. DoCSoc’s ambassador to CGCU, Sir Alessandro Barrownardi (also known as “Tim in Ruislip”), will hand a letter to President Hasbani to officially trigger the start of up to two-week’s worth of Git Out negotiations, which could see non-Computing members of DoCSoc and Computing members of other departmental societies used as what many people term, bargaining chips. In a leaked memo, Bower wrote, “Non-DoC students make a fantastic contribution to our society, but it's time we stop limiting ourselves to Imperial students.”

A key player and known CGCU-sceptic, Luke Granger-Brown, is said to have been seen carrying a handwritten note after a recent committee meeting stating “What’s the model? Have our pizza and eat it. [...] EESoc likely to be most difficult”. However, a spokesperson for the society later stated that the notes held by Mr Granger-Brown did not reflect the society’s official stance on negotiations.

DoCSoc’s controversial President-elect and co-chair of the LEAVE.CGCU campaigning group, Maurice Yap, has said of the result, “This is a truly momentous occasion, where DoCSoc’s members have decisively chosen to leave behind the bureaucratic mess that is the CGCU, and instead, take back control of our glorious society.”

Referring to the hotly contested amount which DoCSoc pays to CGCU, Mr Yap said, “Let’s take the £350 each year which we give to an undemocratic, crooked organisation with unprecedented power over DoCSoc and spend it on the kitchen instead.” Many have criticised DoCSoc’s handling of the Computing Department’s communal kitchen crisis, saying that it is under-funded, under-resourced and under-staffed.

“Members of DoCSoc do not want “ever-closer Union”, especially not as part of an undemocratic and unaccountable body which DoCSoc members didn’t elect. Members thankfully didn’t buy the Project Fear nonsense spouted out by the lefty liberal champagne socialist Felix newspaper.”

Memeperial has been criticised by remain voters for 'deceptive' memes

DoCSoc’s move has also sparked an upsurge in support for anti-CGCU movements in other departmental societies. Speaking to the populist and pro-Git Out news outlet, Memeperial, a senior committee member in the Design Engineering Society said, “Computing isn’t a real engineering subject anyway - everyone knows that but is too afraid to say it. I applaud the gallant decision of DoCSoc members to leave CGCU. Everyone will see that they are better off out of it, when they continue to make a success of themselves.”

Article 50: the people who will negotiate DoCSoc’s Exit

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Autumn In Review: Part Two
Tom Bower,  20 December 2016

This post continues on from Part One of the Autumn 2016 Review - we simply did so much this term that it’s impossible to limit it to just one blogpost!

Board Games Evening

In collaboration with the Imperial Board Games Society, our annual board games night returned with great success. Many of our students turned up to share their love of board games, from Monopoly to Settlers of Catan. Students enjoyed great conversation, an abundance of snacks, and of course an awesome selection of board games! In fact, the event was so successful that we’d love to hold more than just this year!

Cisco: Internet of Things Talk

One of our awesome sponsors, Cisco, visited us in November for a talk about the Internet of Things (IoT) from Andrea Ibiassi, a Virtual Systems Specialist. The talk covered Cisco’s role in IoT, what Cisco is currently doing in that area and how their IoT portfolio creates compelling solutions for Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, Utilities, Energy and Transportation to name but a few. The talk was concluded with a Q&A session and pizza!

Cisco: Internet of Things Talk

Tri-Society Trampolining

We teamed up with the Imperial BioChemSoc and ChemSoc for a fun-filled Saturday afternoon of trampolining in Acton. We slashed the price of tickets by 50%, and gave a free pair of socks to every attendee. Much fun was had by all, and we’ll definitely collaborate with the other DepSocs in the future.

Trampolining has its ups and downs...

The Winter Mixer

The Mixers have become something of a London tradition in recent years; technology societies from each university come together for a night of mingling and mixing over food and drinks, each time hosted by a different society. This term, it was our turn at hosting!

Held in Metric, it proved to be a great night with a DJ, photographer, flowing drinks, glowsticks, and lots of mingling. We were visited by UCL’s TechSoc, King’s College London’s TechSoc, Goldsmith’s Hacksmiths, and City University’s tech society. Thanks to everybody who came, and we look forward to visiting you all again at your universities!

Mingling done wrong.
Mingling done wrong.

Internship 101

Internship 101 is our annual knowledge-share where a panel of students from the Department dedicate some of their time to educate others about their personal internship experiences. Particularly useful for first and second year students, the panel with experience from Apple, Mozilla, Microsoft and others answered questions about company culture, interview questions, salaries, and much more!

Our internship 101 panel

Signac Presentation and Networking

At the end of November, our new sponsor Signac paid us a visit to talk about their startup and how they came into existence as a collaboration with Credit Suisse and one of our other sponsors, Palantir. We were even lucky to be visited by the CIO, Sean Hunter. The talk covered how Signac uses technology and data to stop employee fraud, how they reduce operational risk at banks, and what it’s like working at their startup. Many members of the Signac engineering, HR, and corporate teams participated in what was a fantastic talk and Q&A session. The evening concluded with networking over pizza and drinks.

Packed lecture theatre at Signac event
Absolutely packed!

DoCSoc Goes Ice Skating

Getting into the festive spirit, DoCSoc blessed the Natural History Museum’s Swarovski Ice Rink with 40 of the Department’s finest skaters. Not only that, we slashed ticket prices by 80%, ensuring that as many people as possible could attend. The event proved so popular, in fact, that we did the whole thing again the following week!

Ice Skating

Christmas Party

A new event for DoCSoc, this year we held a Christmas party in the Department. We enjoyed festive nibbles and mulled wine, followed by video games, pass-the-parcel, and ended the night with a fantastic grime performance by some of our members.

The Alumni Bar Night

To mark the end of a terrific term, we decided to treat everyone with a final bar night to say goodbye to the Autumn term and 2016. As usual, we gave out hundreds of free tokens, and topped it off with nachos and curly fries to seal the deal. A great way to unwind before saying goodbye to everybody for the Christmas!

More Jaegerbombs
Carrying on the tradition.

Phew, and there we have it - twenty amazing events! None of this would have been possible without support from the committee, the Department, our Operations team, and of course our invaluable sponsors. A huge thank you to everyone who helped organise, and of course attended our events - they wouldn’t be the same without you!

What's Next?

So, what’s to look forward to in the Spring, I hear you ask. Coming up in 2017, we have:

  • Talks and workshops from our sponsors: GoCardless, Microsoft, Bloomberg, NewVoiceMedia, and more…
  • Many more bar nights
  • More trampolining!
  • Rooftop Revel 2.0
  • IC Hack ‘17 (stay tuned for more details!)
  • And much, much more…

Thanks for reading and have a great holiday!



Autumn In Review: Part One
Tom Bower,  19 December 2016

Well, well, well...what a term! DoCSoc has grown from its humble beginnings just a few years ago into one of the largest and most prominent societies at Imperial and even the UK! In fact, this term was our busiest and most active of all time with twenty amazing events in just ten weeks.

So as we all take a well deserved rest from coursework and revision before the Spring term, let’s take a look at what we got up to this term…

Freshers’ Meet and Greet

The first week of term might seem like nothing but a distant memory now, but we woke up bright and early to welcome nervous and excited freshers to the department with a bang. With a huge supply of drinks and snacks, we fed the new students and got chatting to them about the department, our society, and all the great things about attending one of the best universities in the world, in one of the most fantastic cities in the world.

Meet and Greet

Freshers’ Fair

That same week, we popped up our stall at the Freshers’ Fair and, in true DoCSoc style, we came equipped with lots of food. We also held a speed typing competition with the grand prize being brand new Xbox One! We also gave away other fantastic prizes including wireless headphones, a quadcopter, and a portable speaker. The top score this year was 132 wpm - if you think you can do better, come back next year to try your luck!

Zubair Holding Our Freshers' Handbook
Showing off our prizes!

Buddies Lunch

DoCSoc, in collaboration with the departmental representatives, operates a ‘Mums and Dads’ scheme to pair freshers with students from upper years to guide them and give them a reliable contact for advice in the department. To start this bond, we hold a lunch where parents and kids can mingle and get to know each other. Through collaboration with our generous sponsors and our department, we also give each fresher a swag bag packed to the brim with rubber ducks, mugs, stickers and more.

Sponsors’ Exhibition

Following the success of last year’s Careers Fair, we held a sponsors’ exhibition in the Great Hall - our largest yet! - where we invited over 10 companies including our sponsors and some startups to sell themselves to our students. This proved to be a great success and we hope many students got some great internship and job offers out of the day.

Microsoft + Pizza
A full Great Hall!

Bloomberg’s CodeCon

The same week, we held Bloomberg’s CodeCon - an online coding competition run simultaneously at universities in the UK and across the world. With pizza, drinks, and recruiters and engineers from Bloomberg there to help, the event proved to be a great success. We’re also proud to say some of our own students ranked in the top 3, resulting in fast tracked interviews at Bloomberg. Well done guys!

Intense focus on the programming challenge
Intense focus on the programming challenge.

The Welcome Bar Night

In week three, we introduced freshers to what is now something of a DoCSoc tradition - our regular free bar nights! All members of DoCSoc can come visit us at the Union Bar for a night of free drinks and good conversation. This was perhaps one of the most memorable nights of term (well, if you can remember that night at all), and our most popular bar night in the history of DoCSoc!

Traditional DoCSoc Jaegerbombs
Traditional DoCSoc Jaegerbombs

Netcraft: Phishing for Fun and Profit

Following the success of last year’s Dark Markets event, our generous sponsor Netcraft returned for another fantastic workshop about phishing. Students learnt how to reverse-engineer the obfuscated code behind real world phishing attacks, and how the process can be used to identify attacks, disrupt fraudsters, and stem the flow of easy money gushing towards the Internet criminals. With pizza and drinks flowing, this event was not only great fun, but extremely interesting!

Phishing for Fun and Profit
Phishing for Fun and Profit

It wouldn’t be a Netcraft event if it wasn’t followed by a Bar Night! After the event, students and Netcraft staff migrated to the union for drinks and to talk about the work that Netcraft gets up to.

Think Like A Palantir Engineer

The same week, we welcomed another of our fantastic sponsors, Palantir, to Imperial for a hands-on problem solving event where students could learn from full-time engineers about how to approach problems such as terrorism and financial fraud. Not only was the event very eye opening, but also taught us more about what Palantir does and how they work. The event was followed by a question and answer session where eager students could find out more about life at Palantir.

Questions and answers...
Questions and answers...

Palantir Bar Night

After Palantir’s workshop event, we all walked over to Metric for a generously sponsored bar night. This was a great chance for more mingling and networking with engineers and recruiters from Palantir.

Palantir Bar Night

Believe it or not, we're still not done! But, that’s it for part one.

To find out what we did in the second half of term, head over to Part Two!