VP Sports Development Candidate Withdraws Nomination

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VP Sports Development candidate Jocelyn Makin has withdrawn her nomination less than two days after submitting it, citing the heavy workload of campaigning and prioritising her degree as the reason.

In a statement, Jocelyn told the Wessex Scene on Friday “With deepest regret I have had to withdraw from the SUSU Elections. My current work load with the given time constraints is putting me under too much stress.”

“The Candidates’ Briefing meeting and the SUSUtv commitments accentuated how much stress running a full campaign on top of my current commitments would be, a task I feel I couldn’t justify. I am heart-broken to have to make this decision, one that I must stress was not made lightly, but I know that I must prioritise my degree, a decision I hope most people would take in my position, and one which I hope to be respected for.”

Jocelyn was one of six candidates who put themselves forward for the sabbatical position, alongside Dean Jones, Sam Huish, Laura Gottleib, Thomas Norton and Sion Roberts.

She explained that “I don’t wish anyone to think I backed out due to a lack of passion and I emphasise how upsetting this decision has been as I truely believed I could have brought so much to the job. I wish to thank my close friends who have supported me up until now (you know who you are), I wouldn’t have thought campaigning were possible without your encouragement.”

“I wish all the elections candidates the best of luck.”

The position of VP Sports development was to be the most contested sabbatical position in this years elections, but now shares the widest race with VP Academic Affairs.

Last year Benjamin Brooks withdrew his candidacy for the Academic position due to similar reasons.

A list of the full runners and riders for this years elections can be found here.

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Discussion13 Comments

  1. avatar

    I do find it somewhat unusual that susu elections run the week before dissertation hand in for some departments. Id be interested to know how many law and geography students (for example) feel able to run for a position with dissertation hand in on 12th March. Does susu take this into full consideration when planning the elections calendar?

    Adam
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    Good point. Nevertheless, whenever the elections are scheduled, there is going to be something on. Ideally, they would be late in the year before the end of the semester. However, if say after Easter, this conflicts with the run up to end of year exams and those with later dissertation hand in dates. If it is earlier in the year, they become less relevant.

    Abbie
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    I’d say the first week after Easter would mean march deadlines out the way and may ones still far enough away… I know planning goes into these things and things will clash but I do wonder if susu are favouring humanities students somewhat for the roles? I know anyone can apply but a job application has less of an impact on study than
    a week long campaign…

    Id be interested if past sabbs could state their degree to see if it seems to have been swayed towards those without early deadlines…

    Adam
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    The whole election process from nominations opening to results night is approx 1 month, so starting after Easter would bring the campaign through to mid May and clashing with more deadlines.

    It’s a difficult one – wherever they are, some will be inconvenienced.

    Rhi
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    im pretty sure that none of the current sabbs were humanities students

    Anon
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    “I do wonder if susu are favouring humanities students somewhat for the roles”…
    Humanities students make up most of the election candidates year on year, and largely run SUSU media too. This in turn alienates people from other disciplines: a vicious circle.

    Chloe
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    It definitely doesn’t favour humanities students in my experience – I have a March 5th dissertation deadline for my English degree. Gulp.

  2. avatar

    Also, earlier in the year means less relevant? Or better handover period? Why does earlier voting make elections less relevant?

    PS would just like to point out I am merely questioning here…I’m
    Not trying to argue or upset anyone! I just found it rather interesting that I couldn’t run in a university-sited election because of my degree…

    Adam
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    Personally, I feel that if they were earlier in the year, they would harm the existing team, as they would have been in office for less time and their replacements were already being sought. Ideally, they would be just before the existing team finish, but that is not possible. For relevance, doing the elections sooner would, in my view, make it less connected, as positions are being voted upon for a considerable time into the future. Whilst a handover period is good, this would make it a lot longer.

    Also, candidates will often be looking at what has happened over the last year to propose what they will change and also what the current team has done wrong! With less time, less of the previous manifesto will have been implemented and settled, so it will be harder to judge what to propose for their candidacy.

    Andre Pusey
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    If the elections were much earlier, people would not have enough time to realise they want to run and build up enough experience, knowledge and research to put up a decent race.

    I agree with the problems though; one of the main reasons I am not running for a position (or fully dedicating myself to a campaign) is because my dissertation is in March 12th. Ideally the nomination process could take place before Easter, then when we come back we could do the campaigning and results. Then we can all do our exams.

    Maybe a thought for next year’s President if they feel it needs changing?

    Sam
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    Another angle is to look at the other side of when the elections are.

    On the whole few candidate sign for a house, and work too hard to searching for a job. Currently they have enough time after to o both this things, but they are starting out a bit late. If it were in the summer term it would mean that either successful candidates may struggle with housing, or unsuccessful ones might be stuck in a contract.

    Perhaps a sensible solution would be to promote the elections earlier, possibly before Christmas, and offer sessions to talk to potential candidates, so that have a longer time to prepare their campaign, and get up to date with their studies,

    When I ran last year my project hand in was two weeks after elections, and so I planned my time so that I would be able to do nothing spurring that week, working to get little ahead of myself, and informing my project supervisor of elections week. Not saying it went perfectly mind, but thinking about elections early did help.

    Not an easy one though. Winchester Uni hold their elections around April, I know Leicester is a but earlier than us.

    Abbie
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    Nice points, Sam.

    I agree with everything you’ve said to be honest. My only concern is that, in my case, for instance, even with planning (I got given this dissertation this time last year), the amount of lab work required means that writing cannot commence until january (when you have exams)… I know it is up to those wanting to run to plan their workload accordingly but I do think that even with planning completing my project ahead of time would be near-impossible… at least, assuming I was intending on achieving the best marks I could.

    On the housing front, there’s always plenty of houses well up until the Summer but Adam makes a good point about handover being too long for the old team to continue to work effectively.

    All in all, I do believe that Andre’s idea of pre-Easter nominations and post-Easter campaign week would be a real improvement for next year. It may reduce some of the ‘hype’ or worry people that there’d be less interest from voters but surely we want the best possible candidates, not just the best voter turnout ?

    As I say, I didn’t comment here to have a moan. I know that there will have been a lot of thought into the timings of elections and the process. I just wondered how people felt about it. To be honest, it hadn’t really occurred to me, until someone asked whether I would be running, that I couldn’t, if I wanted to achieve a good degree grade and do my best to get the job at the same time.

    After all, it’s often the case that those most dedicated to SUSU need to pull up their grades a tad come final year… or so it seems to have been for me. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to do the 9-6 workload lecturers expect and volunteer for the Union, without being slightly nocturnal!!! I wouldn’t change my SUSU experiences for anything though – loved every minute and would love to be more involved in elections (if it weren’t for my darn dissertation!).

    Maybe I’m simply not clever enough to manage degree work and SUSU work at the same time and others are and wouldn’t share the feelings I have expressed above… either way, I thought I’d question the dates and process to see how people felt and whether a review for next year would be a step forward or a step back.

    Andre Pusey
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    Some very good points about housing and employment made there, Sam. I hadn’t thought about that!

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