Why you should care about student elections
Dodge leaflets if you must, but don’t ignore election season entirely.
Did you know that election season is upon us again? Campaigning kicks off this Friday and voting will be on the 5th and 6th March. I tell you this for two reasons: 1) So you’re prepared to do the head down run through the leaflets to the library and 2) because I think you should vote.
The main problem with elections is that a lot of students don’t seem to know that they’re happening. If they do, they dread the Facebook onslaught of people’s promotion. These are justified worries, but campaign week is just a week and, although annoying, is necessary up to a point to get people elected.
Once they are elected they are part of the union; a body that seems to remain elusive to lots of students. The union is a collection of students who are running committees, events, can give you money, time, support and put you in contact with people who can help with your causes and campaigns. The union is actually quite useful. It’s helpful to have people elected to it and as they are there to help you, it’s best to choose who you want.
The union is made up of two main bodies: the Student Representative Council (SRC) and the Student Services Council (SSC). The SRC is the legally recognised body for student representation. The Wellbeing and Equal Opportunities committee are managed through them for example. Positions include everything from External Campaigns to Accommodation.
The SSC supports and leads the activities and events of the Students’ Association. The subcommittees make up the bulk of the SSC. There are nine subcommittees that all students are automatically a part of: the Charities Campaign, Union Debating Society, Design Team, Ents Crew, LGBT, Mermaids, Music is Love, STAR, and Volunteer Service.
Then there are the four top positions. These are the Sabbatical Officers and the positions are: Students’ Association President, the Director of Representation, the Director of Student Development and Activities, and the Director of Events and Services. If you are in doubt of who to contact then contact them and they will be able to put you in touch with the right person. This goes for everything from counselling sessions (done through Eden Court) to running an event (Societies Committee).
The union is a really helpful resource and you can find out more about it here: http://www.yourunion.net/union/
I’m telling you this because it would be great to have more people know what’s going on in campaign week. You can still run!!! You have until the 26th to nominate yourself for a position, so why not take the chance to get more involved, have direct access to union resources and work with a team of super active and impressive students. You can nominate yourself here: http://www.yourunion.net/voice/elections/
Either way, take a quick look through candidate’s blurbs to think who you want to represent you and support your projects and work. By all means dodge the leaflets, but make sure you vote on the 5th and 6th!