Campaigning started at 11 am this Monday for the sabbatical position of next year’s Union Vice President, Academic Affairs. There are nine candidates standing for the position, which means that voters have ten options to choose from, including RON (Re-Open Nominations).
The Wessex Blog reported last week that previously elected Chris Pidgley had to resign from the role due to health reasons. Whoever wins the election will take up the position, previously known as VP Education and Representation, Monday 21st June – next week.
Of the nine candidates standing, only one previously ran for the original position over three months ago. Three more of the nine students running for the position also ran for other sabbatical positions in the elections at the end of February – one ran for President, and two ran for VP Welfare and Societies. One of the candidates was also Campaign Manager for Chris Pidgley’s original campaign.
The week will see campaigning in SUSU elections unlike anything the Union has seen in while. This is not only because of the amount of candidates standing for one position, but also the anticipated shift in the voting demographic.
The large majority of students have completed their academic year and so are not likely to be around on campus. This immediately rules out some of the more greatly pushed campaign tactics seen in the earlier Union elections such as lecture shout-outs, and a presence on the concourse. Candidates will instead have to promote themselves in new ways such as through social networking sites in the hope to reach out to potential voters.
However, with most halls of residence left empty of freshers already, and mostly only third years still in Southampton awaiting their results, students have begin to claim that the election will depend purely on candidates’ popularity. One third-year Politics student said: ‘With not many people still in Southampton, and nobody really on campus anymore, the election surely just seems a question of how many friends candidates can ask to vote for them? It’ll be interesting to see who wins, especially because there seems such a wide spectrum of experience between the candidates.’
All nine candidates have until midday on Friday to campaign for students’ votes. The results will be announced at 5 pm Friday evening in The Stags Head.
Compulsory hustings will take place Tuesday at midday on the concourse for all candidates standing for the position.