It’s that time of year again. Busy Campaigners, the debates and manifestos…it all sounds very exciting. Meanwhile in Winchester, if you ask a student about their thoughts on the elections, most students wouldn’t know what the heck you were talking about.
I’m not going to lie, I didn’t vote for anyone last year. Why? I didn’t know I was supposed to, really. VP Winchester aside, there was no buzz, nor hoo-ha on campus about the elections or the candidates who were running in Southampton. So, I just carried on in our little bubble that is Winchester School of Art.
The only reason I know about the elections and the roles this time around is through working with Wessex Scene and through friends in Southampton who are running for various roles. I started to look into the roles and I read a few manifesto’s and I was amazed at how much these roles actually affect Winchester students. We just don’t know it yet, but why?
So, I did some research:
Out of all the WSA students I asked, only one person voted last year. The majority of us had no idea what was happening this time last year, but we would like to.
Although SUSU have done a great job engaging students in Winchester this year with the Give It A Go fortnight and the NUS debate in Winchester, a lot of students still haven’t heard about the elections.
When I asked for more details and their thoughts on the elections and Southampton in general, the majority of students felt out of the loop.
“There is no advertising or promotion here. If (the candidates) went out of their way to come here and speak to us, then more of us would vote.”
More promotion and awareness on campus would be beneficial, according to some students. A Campaign day or Candidates coming over to interact with WSA students would grab a few votes, someone suggested. If they cared about us, they would come here and show it, surely?
“I do care about the elections because they’re important, however at the same time I don’t care because no-one cares about us.”
Another problem I found with students in Winchester, is that a lot of them do not care about the elections at all. WSA seems constantly separate from the main campus, it fails to seem of any importance to us here. The results were 50/50 when asked if the students cared or not. The answers were either a “Heeeeell no” or a “no, but I would like to.”
“I would vote if the Candidates made an effort to come to WSA and ram it down our throats. We need that.”
The few that have heard about the elections say that they know through SUSU’s twitter, Wessex Scene and posts on Facebook. The only roles students could name were Editor of the Wessex Scene and VP Communities.
So what is the issue here? Is it that not enough information is reaching Winchester? Do students feel unimportant to the University? Do the roles feel irrelevant to us? Or do we really just not give a crap about elections? Well, students have said all of the above. It’s tough, but that’s how a lot of us here feel.
Studying in Winchester? Comment your thoughts below: