Agony Hack

PHOTO// seanmfreese

Since I arrived at Oxford, I’ve been struggling socially. How should I go about trying to make friends?

Let me introduce myself – I’m Agony Hack, this week’s columnist, and, if you want to know more, have a chat with the people on my slate. I’m actually standing for the Library Committee, as you’re interested. Anyway, I find that the best way of influencing people is to do everything within your power to ingratiate yourself with them. Network aggressively, but don’t be afraid to indulge in harmless small talk, like updating your potential friends on your Union movements. Small gifts like sweets will doubtless maximise goodwill towards you. Once you’ve assembled a coterie of willing accomplices, you’ll be able to complete your aim of getting a good position in the Union.

 Agony Hack, there’s a girl in the Union who I want to get close to. What should I do?

First, ask an impressive question when you’re in the audience for a guest speaker. Then take her to President’s Drinks, and loosen things up with copious amounts of port. Then take her aside, show her you’re Standing Committee, and give her a hacking right in the Gladstone. By then, she’ll be at the top of the greasy pole. Follow these tips and it’ll be a happy ending come the joyous release of the results of the election.

 Dear Agony Hack, I’m a Fresher who’s running for office in the Union and I just wanted to know if you think I’m, you know, a sound fellow.

Hi there. Well, there are quite a few sound fellows at the Union. Did I meet you at drinks? But if you can spend a weekend furtively handing out Maoams at the Jesus plodge, if you can get through two bottles of port and retain the ability to schmooze the Committee, yours is the Union and everything that’s in it. And – what’s more – you’ll be a hack, my son! Just, uh, steer clear of OCA. At least for the time being.

  Hi Agony Hack, I’m a former Union President, a hockey Blue, and an international cricketer, and now I’m going for the presidency of the Student Union. Any advice?

I myself am standing for the Library Committee of the Oxford Union – may I offer you a sweet? – and I understand fully the difficulties that come with such heady political ambition. Perhaps we can come to some sort of arrangement – there’s certainly room on my slate for one more. If you haven’t already got an incredibly detailed Wikipedia page, then get one. Here’s to a successful election season.


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