The SU circus returns for the mid-term tour

— Following the Students’ Union by-elections this year is our special elections correspondent Maken Eetup.

The event you’ve all been waiting for is finally here — a chance to vote and have your say. Yes – “The X-Factor” is back.

Oh, and there are some Students’ Union elections too.

The start of campaigning has already been described as “what are you talking about?” and “oh, that?”. Up for grabs are a number of roles that were so popular that nobody applied last time.


A collection of posters you may or may not have seen around campus. Photo: The Linc

Most significant of these is the role of Societies Officer. Many of the manifestos for this position talk about the lack of representation this year and are thus asking for “fairness”, “funding” and in one case “free biscuits”.

Societies have had a hard time in comparison to sports since the introduction of apartheid at the University of Lincoln. Members of societies have not been allowed to sit at the same tables in the atrium as members of sports teams.

They are also not allowed to look at them and can only speak when spoken to.

The most controversial suggestion for how to solve the issue comes from second year student Miles Rodgers, who suggests “making sure all sports teams and societies are represented by merging all of them in to one ubersport”, because “we’re all in this together!”

A number of new, highly important roles are being introduced, including the job of Inspiration Officer. Charles Cthulhu, the SU’s vice-president for bullshit and bureaucracy, explained the role: “The SU is all about representation, participation and inspiration – and for too long we’ve not been allowing you to participate in the representation of your inspiration!”

One of the more notable students in the running for the role is Gary McGimp. He rose to notoriety for his “legendary performance” at Student Council, in his role for chairing the regulatory board for equality in the circumference of tea bags.

McGimp says: “I brought all the teabags to be round in exactly the same way and I’m going to bring people round to voting for me!”

However, in a last ditch attempt to raise interest in the by-elections, a new position was created — The Super Galactic President of Lindum Colonia.

On deeper investigation, this position was invented by a student prankster messing around with a draft SU press release, but now the information is in the public domain the union is not holding anyone accountable for the balls-up.

Instead, Charles Cthulhu declared it a “triumph for student engagement” and that “students are finally getting hands on with their union”.

As part of the campaign period, the “Candidate’s Question Time” hustings was held on Tuesday, November 9th in the Tower Bar.


The audience at the Candidate's Question Time on Tuesday. Photo: The Linc
Cthulhu described the single-figure turnout as “phenomenal” and stated: “It exceeded all our expectations, and it’s great to see students show they do care about their union.”

The audience member Phillip Hughes said: “I only came here as I heard there’d be free nachos.”

Learning from the lessons of the Liberal Democrats, candidates have been careful not to put things in their manifestos that could be seen as a commitment to do anything at all.

Candidates have also been using canvasing methods familiar to previous SU elections, including hanging up their bedsheets to dry in the atrium and handing out free sweets.

Derek Twatford, who is running for Officer for Appeasement of University Senior Management, bought a pack of Haribo starmix to hand out, with messages encouraging students to vote for him written on them. He said that it was difficult to fit his slogan on to the sweets, but felt he’d got most of it on.

With approximately 30 sweets in a single packet, that should be enough for Twatford to reach the entire voting population at the university.


A selection of Derek Twatford's campaign materials. Photo: The Linc

He added that the love hearts were symbolic of the relationship between university management and the SU. Cola bottles, he said, are representative of his commitment to the university and SU’s war on cheap booze.

When asked about significance of the fried egg sweets, Twatford stated: “They’re to put on my face if I lose out to RON.”

RON (full name Re-open Nominations) is the dark horse of this year’s campaign, pledging to restart the elections process in a similarly empty manifesto to the other candidates.

He has a daring strategy of contesting all of the roles, which has led to suggestions that RON is running solely to have something for his CV.

One of the biggest questions surrounding the by-elections is the confusion regarding candidate Lucy Muntface, whose manifesto says that her goal is to bring “happiness and hope to the hearts and minds of everybody”, but will achieve this through “Christmas number 1” and that “singing has always been [her] dream”.

Reports that Muntface actually meant to apply for “The X-Factor” are currently unconfirmed.

Like in the March 2010 elections, The Linc has been tracking the popularity of the candidates via Facebook groups to determine who is likely to win each position.


The race for the position of Officers' Officer in this year's by-elections. Picture: The Linc

Although in the race for the role of Officers’ Officer you can see that Hugh Gelyia has gained a significant lead of 7 people to 5 over Una Countible, both Gelyia’s mother and father are members of the group and it is not believed that they are eligible to vote.

If voting on recent proposals to review the process of agenda distribution for executive committee boards in to the appointment of the annual effectiveness of transparency agenda wasn’t appealing enough for you, you can find out who your new Officers’ Officer is and the results of the other roles at the All Students Meeting on Thursday, November 18th.