Whether you’re entirely disinterested or you’re part of a campaign team, one thing’s certain: the sabbatical elections will affect you.
They come around every Spring and offer students the chance to decide who they want running their students’ union for the next year. You might not think that every elected student will affect the day-to-day running of your university, but you would be wrong. From Freshers’ Week to welfare-support, these elections will decide how your student-life progresses over the next twelve months.
So aside from all the face-paint, abundantly distributed posters and lecture shout-outs what do these elections really mean to you? Are you as clued-up as you’d like to be? Are you aware of how you can make a difference to SUSU? Most importantly, what do you want from these elections?
The information about elections is there; sometimes you just have to take the time to find itJade HearneSecond-year English student
We took time out to ask some of you to share your thoughts. Unsurprisingly your responses varied immensely. Whilst some students were unsure what ‘Sabb’ stood for (for those of you who are still unaware, the answer lies in this article), many of you recognize the significance of these elections. For second-year student David Tully these elections are one of the most important events of the year:
“It’s electing the core members of an organization that’s worth a ridiculous amount of money and it gives them an awful lot of responsibility for our student experience”.
Ruth Summers sees these elections in a similar light: “I think it’s important that the candidates elected listen to the students and what we really want, in order to bring about effective change”
For some of you though, this change can only happen if you’re provided with the relevant information in the first place. History student Grace Fordham suggests we need to make candidate information more accessible: “I want the election itself to provide me with a clear idea of each candidate, so that through the elections students can have their views accurately represented by candidates who reflect the general student population”.
Jade Hearne, however, disagrees: “There is publicity out there for the elections. There are signs up on campus and even if you don’t notice these then just scrolling down the news feed on Facebook shows that people have posted about the elections and are wearing crazy costumes to promote them. The SUSU website also has a section called Your Elections which shows you all the candidates. I think the information about elections is there; sometimes you just have to take the time to find it”.
Clearly, these elections divide opinion – though not necessarily always in the way candidates would like… Whatever your view, with less than a week left to vote, let’s hope we can up last year’s turnout and help to establish a students’ union that we all took a part in shaping.