Briefing Our SUSU Sabbatical Candidates

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Those gutsy and passionate enough to nominate themselves for the seven Sabbatical positions were briefed this afternoon ahead of The Big Reveal show hosted by SUSUtv. 

‘This will change your life’ current President Sam Ling told them all. And undoubtedly the next two weeks will do just that. Everyone who has been involved with or witnessed SUSU elections in the past will know of the euphoria and effort that goes into every campaign however big or small.

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This year looks set to be even bigger, with a huge number of candidates being elected at the same time and a restructure of Sabbatical Officers and their respective zones. The Sabb candidates in the briefing today each looked a mixture of steely, shaky or ecstatic.

The briefing was led by Sam Ling, the now Deputy Returning Officer, and Democracy staff and outlined the following: the elections timeline, rules, budgets and online presence, campaigning and the ‘lots of elections’ effect.

Sam Ling will be acting in the role of Deputy Returning Officer for the duration of the elections which involves overseeing the day-to-day running and will be the primary point of contact for all candidates. The Democracy staff encouraged the candidates to get in touch and if needed to go and see them to ‘have a little cry.’

The Timeline for the elections was then read through with highlights including: online campaigning (from Saturday, February 16, 5pm), the filming of the Lip-Dub (Sunday, February 17, 11am), VP Debates (Monday, February 18, 5pm-9.30pm), Presidential Debates (Friday, February 22, 6pm) and Elections Night Live (Friday March 1, 9pm). The candidates were told that on the night of the results they will ‘not be told live on stage’ to many sighs of relief.

The candidates were then taken through the rules, but elections are generally ‘self-regulating’ with candidates actively reporting and assisting others. Candidates were warned that there is ‘a line between getting yourself out there and being invasive.’ A full list of rules can be found on the SUSU website.

In terms of campaigning budgets, Sabb candidates will have £30 for elections materials which can be reimbursed or claimed, £30 of their own money can be spent and on top of this they will have £30 of ‘SUSU Money’ to put towards a Media Pack which includes posters, screen advertising in SUSU buildings and adverts on SUSU website amongst other things. Student Leaders will have three lots of £15 in the same categories and Trustees will have £5 in each category. Each Sabb candidate will also get 10 plain t-shirts each with the SUSU logo on.

Each candidate, running for any position, will have a profile on the SUSU website in which they will present their manifesto, links to Twitter and other social media and can answer any question sent in and approved.

‘7 of you are going to win but you will all gain a lot of experience’ said Sam, and advised them all not to ‘become someone different from who you are.’

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The candidates were then herded and taken to the Big Reveal Show hosted in the Cube by SUSUtv. Our Live Blog can be found here.

The Wessex Scene wish every candidate for every position the best of luck in the next few weeks. Stick with us for comprehensive elections coverage right up to Elections Night Live. 

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I come from South West London and am studying English at Southampton. I am interested in journalism and considering it as a career after my degree. I have interests in Sports and Music and have written for a sports magazine called Sportsister before. I am keen to get involved in as much as possible whilst at Uni and writing about my experiences could be a very rewarding thing. :)

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