Student Leader election FARCE?

Tom Steadman thoroughly enjoyed the Sabb elections, but this next load are making his blood boil.

It seems like only last week we at The Soton Tab were nursing hangovers after results night. The big loud circus had come and gone and it looked like all we could see on the horizon were dissertation hand ins and exams, not an attractive future by any means. However, this wasn’t quite to be. More positions within SUSU have become available, ranging from Wessex Scene editor to Physics faculty rep. (the full list can be seen here)

Now we at The Tab love an election as much as anyone else but these ones got our goat for two main reasons.

1. Why are these positions being decided by votes from by the general student body??

If you are a fan of our facebook page (if you’re not then rectify this awful travesty here) you will have noticed we recently posted a poll regarding whether we should put someone forward for Wessex Scene editor. The reasoning behind this was two-fold. On one hand we don’t like the way WS does things sometimes and we are vocal about this. Pushing ‘the clique’ into actually having to compete in an election would hopefully make them think more about the paper and start publishing more articles that students want to read rather then peoples university essays! This in turn would make the WS better, and to twist VP Comms elect David Gillani’s words, a good WS makes us work harder to be better still. Hopefully both candidates will appreciate the mutual respect and friendly rivalry that exists between the editing team and chief writers of both publications and continue pushing Southampton to the forefront of student media!

It was also to raise an issue with the process. The WS Editor and SURGE station manager each have a large budget and a task to stick too. How is the best person going to get the job when they are awarded said job through a popularity contest? Anybody who stood for The Tab would have had our editorial backing and we would have created a fierce competition. Anyone with a big enough base of friends to campaign could get the job with little or no experience of media! At least our candidate would have done a good job! We feel that to truly get the right person for the job there should be an interview process, with the current VP Comms, future VP Comms and some of the university staff they’ll be working with. It’d make the system more businesslike and mean that the best person for the job would be considered, rather then who looked fittest or had the most friends!


We’ve just finished what is probably classed as the ‘main’ election process. Why do we need more? With the Union Council elections at the start of the year and course reps after it seems like elections never stop! Why not roll the process into the previous elections? Make the faculty elections faculty specific (easily linked to student number), the WS and SURGE and SUSUTv positions interviewable and you’ve already drastically cut the number involved, meaning they can be tacked onto the Sabb elections with negligible impact!!!

All in all I feel that if SUSU keep trotting out all these elections, the student body will become bored of the system and the downward voting trend seen in the Sabbs Election may continue through ‘Election Fatigue’, not a good thing when such importance needs to be attached to the jobs being voted for!