This year’s SU elections saw five part-time positions uncontested and unfilled. These were the three satellite campuses positions, the events officer position and, what will be one of the most important ones, the societies officer position.
Were these positions left open because no one is capable of fulfilling them or because there was a lack of information available to get involved? Or perhaps students just didn’t care about participating beyond a vote.
I can’t quite believe that in our student population of over 10,000, there aren’t numerous people who are capable of fulfilling these positions, let alone one person, and again I’m not so sure that students would be reluctant to get involved if they knew how.
It all comes down to access of information, or more a lack of access. I’m not able to comment on how good advertising was in the satellite campuses, but I can certainly say that it was lacking here on the Brayford Campus. We had a few posters, a banner which evidently little took notice of, and some information published in the Agenda.
Notably, nearly all the candidates that ran in the elections already had ties with the SU through the Student Council, or were an officer when running, and sadly it’s that “elite” connectivity that allows the elections to appear democratic, with choices between candidates.
If we removed those who we know to be already connected with the SU, we would see a tremendously minimal selection of candidates. Liberation would have no one, nor would VP for Welfare and the VP Activities would have probably seen better luck for Katie Blackburn.
Of course it would be unfair to suggest that these people were only running because they were lucky enough to be involved from the beginning, but I’m sure with much better information distribution we would have seen more applications made by other students.
If the SU want to see an increase in participation for next year, I suggest they scrap using the Agenda as an information outlet and instead send an election package in the post to students. It will grab attention and they will read through it, as opposed to the emails which don’t quite spell out the importance.
But for now we’re missing vital representation for our satellite campuses. Hull, Holbeach and Riseholme are missing officers, which will mean that their voice will be lost against the backdrop of the Brayford.
Not having a societies officer will ultimately cut off societies representation since Andreas Zacharia, VP Activities-elect dedicated his campaign to sports, with little to no mention of societies at all. Without one, nothing will change for the the 58% of students who haven’t found a society, nor will the call for recognition from political societies be answered.
And the SU’s events will continue to produce the same poor to average results that they have for the last year, without a dedicated events officer available to gauge what students want from them.
The elections, this year, have not fully completed their purpose.Tweet