So why vote? It’s an interesting question – the Students’ Union elections are a very busy time where campus is flooded by posters and people are incredibly excited and flamboyant. But don’t be worried, the elections are your chance to have your say on the Union, the University and beyond. There’s 5 Sabbatical positions up for grabs who will lead your Union from July 2014. We’re also electing our Lay Student Councillors who will represent everyone and run some exciting campaigns over the next year. And last but certainly not least, you can elect your equality reps who’ll make sure that every student has a voice no matter who you are.
Your reps all sit on Student Council and make key decisions on your behalf and on the behalf of all students. They lead their own campaigns to change the Students’ Union and the University so the elections are your chance to make sure that you can be happy with who is representing your views. Much like any wider politics, if you don’t get involved then you don’t have a reason you complain if something doesn’t go your own way.
With elections, I feel like there’s a lot of myths flying about that cause people not to bother to vote, so let me try and clear them up for you.
Sabbatical officers can’t achieve anything in a year!
Sabbs are able to make the key decisions for the Students’ Union. The only decision makers above the Sabbs are the Trustee Board and Student Council – both of which the sabbatical team are members of. We also oversee different areas of the Union – each Union department essentially works to the vision of the elected sabbatical. Sabbs individual pledges have resulted in things such as Nightline and a bigger library. So make sure you make an informed decision of who you want to vote for.
The Sabbs have no influence over the University’s decisions!
A few years ago the University intended to stop change the bursary scheme which wouldn’t have particularly benefitted students so the team managed to convince them to completely change this. Sabbs sit in the majority of university meetings and their opinions are taken really seriously because students want them to be there while members of staff haven’t been selected by students.
One vote doesn’t make a difference
If everyone had that perspective then nobody would vote. In the past Sabbatical elections have been won by a very small majority so every vote does count. Remember that if your first choice doesn’t get enough votes then put your second, third or even forth choice to make sure you get the best chance to have a say.
I can’t vote
In the past, some students haven’t been sure if they could vote – if you can log onto a university computer you can! Whether you’re on placement, study at Coach Lane or City, love the Union, hate the Union – this is your chance to have your say.
What is RON?
If you log on to vote you might wonder what RON stands for and indeed why he’s running for each position? RON unfortunately doesn’t stand for McDonald, Weasley or Burgandy – it’s actually Re-open nominations where you don’t think there’s a suitable candidate for the job.