Posted on Wed 27 Feb 2019 at 13:03 by Christopher Carter
Dateline: Jemma’s first year at Warwick, circa 2016.
Picture the scene: it was a Monday night in Term 2. The stage was all set. We’d prepared the perfect mood lighting: 3 out of the 4 oven hob lights that still worked. We’d unplugged every kitchen appliance until we’d found the perfect acoustic space for our speakers. The miscellaneous drinking vessels were lined up (my lightbulb-shaped sippy cup seemed perfect for accurately measuring my alcohol intake that evening).
We knew that our microwave clock was precisely seven minutes too fast - perfect for following when we factored in one of us not having packed our handbag on the way out. And we were deep into a vodka-infused rendition of the earth-shattering musical masterpiece that is Cascada’s Evacuate the Dancefloor.
“HI GUYS!! I’M SO SORRY TO INTERRUPT BUT I’M [insert a desperate attempt at rhyming their first name with anything remotely related to the position they’re running for – yes, “dilemmajemma” really was the best I could do, okay?!] AND I’M RUNNING TO BE YOUR NEXT WELFARE AND CAMPAIGNS OFFICER FOR NEXT YEAR. DO YOU GUYS WANT TO TAKE A SELFIE TOGETHER…?!” [Shoves my drunken face into a slowly fading cardboard cut-out that clearly got the brunt of this morning’s rain.] “AMAZING, WELL I’M NOT SURE IF YOU KNOW, BUT VOTING FOR THE SPRING ELECTIONS IS ABOUT TO OPEN….”
Yes – yes, we did know. My university suddenly looks like a multi-coloured, soggy recycling plant, and you’re the fifth person to walk in here this evening sporting a hand-painted t-shirt. Unfortunately, only one out of the five of you studied art until GCSE.
“…AND I’D REALLY LIKE YOU TO VOTE FOR ME!”
Now! it’s at this moment where you, as a student of the University of Warwick, can make a crucial decision. You can either:
- Stop and listen - hopefully asking questions while considering this candidate’s manifesto.
- Realise you’re currently not in a fit state to make any informed decisions. Be polite, and remember to read through the manifestos online in the morning, when you don’t have more pressing commitments.
- Be an absolute *3$%*” and tell them to leave because Carlprit is about to start ‘rapping’ and it’s your time to shine.
Trust me, as someone who has experienced all three of these reactions, and many more…. hall-touring is never easy. However, while it is easy to mock the SU elections process, I honestly cannot stress the importance or power of each individual’s vote!
If you’re anything like myself in first year and are confused about what exactly you’re voting for, here’s a very brief breakdown of the Student Officers’ roles:
- There are SEVEN full-time Student Officer positions up for grabs this year: President, Education Officer, Democracy and Development Officer, Postgraduate Officer, Welfare and Campaigns Officer, Sports Officer and Societies Officer.
- Each of these positions are full-time jobs, and we earn just over 20K to carry them out.
- Student Officers are Company Directors, and Board of Trustee Members for your Students’ Union.
- We make some pretty big decisions… so big that they could even influence the price of purple. (Oh, now you’re interested in who you vote for!)
- We attend both SU and University meetings as student representatives.
- These meetings can sometimes decide the strategic plan for the University for the next 15+ years. These meetings can sometimes contain the Vice-Chancellor. These meetings are often incredibly important - so important, in fact, that they sometimes scare me!
- Crucially, we are here to facilitate students’ ever-changing views and demands, as a team.
I’m not going to tell you what makes an ideal candidate, because that’s up to you to decide. However, I will advise you to bear everything that I’ve said above in mind when casting your vote. It’s also worth asking yourself the following questions:
- Will this person represent my views? Will they represent them well?
- Does their Manifesto reflect the changes I’d like to see at my University?
- Is this the sort of person who you’d like to be an ambassador for Warwick both locally, regionally and nationally?
Please be polite to candidates as they campaign around your halls, and relish the opportunity to pull their manifestos apart - responding to the student body is all part of the day-job!
If you do one thing, and one thing only in Week 8, make sure it’s casting a vote in the Spring Elections – it really can make all the difference to your student experience.
READ CANDIDATE MANIFESTOS AND VOTE ONLINE BY LOGGING IN HERE: www.warwicksu.com/vote. Polls close at 7pm on Friday 1st March!