Posted on Wed 26 Feb 2020 at 13:14 by Christopher Carter
It’s no exaggeration to say that the Students’ Union really is the beating heart of life here at Warwick. Depending on who you ask, it’s a place to relax during the day, to blow off steam on a night out, or simply to grab a burger, baguette or pint whenever you’re feeling hungry or in need of refreshment. For many others, it’s a place to meet new people, try out different activities and gain experiences. For some, it’s the place where they find their voice, calling or purpose – while for others, it is the lifeline which keeps them on their course when everything else goes wrong. Make no mistake, the SU shapes lives. It changes lives. In some instances, it even saves lives.
That’s why it’s so important that you take a few minutes this week to cast your vote in the Spring Elections. The people you elect this week will be in charge of the Students’ Union during the coming academic year, and the work they do will help shape its future beyond that. Given the diversity of our student population here at Warwick, what sort of a Union do you want that to be?
As always, it’s easy to be apathetic and think that SU Elections either don’t matter or don’t affect you – but you’d be wrong. These elections affect your ability to have a voice on your course. They affect the range of facilities and spaces you have available to you on campus. They affect study space, student welfare, physical and mental health. For the thousands of you who are members of a Sports Club or Society, they affect they way these activities are run, and your ability to take part in them. The support systems offered by the SU – whether that’s through socialising opportunities, academic support via SSLCs and societies, or direct support from our independent Advice Centre - can ultimately mean the difference between a 2:2 or a 2:1, or even between staying at uni and dropping out.
And if you think that the SU “doesn’t make a difference” on the big issues, you’d be wrong again. The 24-Hour Library and a stand-alone Welcome Week? Both initiatives campaigned for, and won, by the Students’ Union. The incoming student disciplinary reforms have been largely driven by demands made by students through their SU. #ReshapingSport and #WeGetConsent are two massive student initiatives from recent years which have had a huge impact on student wellbeing and engagement with life at Warwick. We are the mechanism through which you can stand up and make yourself heard both locally and nationally – whether that’s regarding a problem on your degree course, or on broader political issues like sustainability and climate change.
Those changes start at micro-level, and they begin with grass-roots engagement in your SU. If you’ve ever felt that the SU “doesn’t make a difference”, it’s up to YOU to get involved and help change that.
Please take a few minutes to read and scrutinise the candidates’ manifestos this week before casting your vote - each of them will represent a different ideological perspective, or offer competing political visions of what an SU is or should be. You can ask them questions online, join in the debate in our Freshers and Postgrad Facebook groups, or chat to them in person when they’re out around campus.
Voting is open now, and closes at 7pm on Friday. It’s all done online and only takes a few clicks, but your vote could make the vital difference in the long-run for the 30,000+ students we have here at Warwick. So! Be sure to head to www.warwicksu.com/vote before polls close - log in to view candidate manifestos and #MakeYourMark!