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Advice

Student elections are just weeks away…

Do you have what it takes to represent your peers?

Have you ever thought about making a difference on campus/? Do you have an idea that you think could improve things? Maybe you should think about running in the student elections.

There’s a number of positions to go for, including full-time roles that will involve a position in the union for a year. These are paid, and will involve being engaged in student politics on a day-to-day basis, getting to understand the inner workings of the university as a whole, and give you the ability to change things. The roles range from the full SU President, to Vice-President roles for Postgraduate and Sports, to name a few.

There are also part-time roles that you will be able to do alongside your degree. These are much smaller in terms of time commitments, and range from Students with Disabilities Office to Women’s Officer. Much of this role is a figurehead position, with the chance for students with issues that full under your area to be able to talk to you, not to mention suggesting things on your manifesto to change within the university itself.

Nominations close next week, and if you think it might be something you are interested in, I would suggest giving it a go. I ran myself last year and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience as a whole. The election week lasts a week and culminates in a ceremony at the end. Although I was unsuccessful, I would definitely recommend it to anyone.

The next step is to decide what points you would put into your manifesto. Have a think about what you would like to see changed, and think about how you would be able to rectify it in the position you want to run for. Even think about what sort of points would encourage students to vote for you and work around that.

There will be a question time for candidates in the week before the election week, which will involve asking all the people running questions from an audience. It might sound scary, but it is fairly relaxed, and gives you the chance to express yourself and what you’re about.

Then after that comes the week itself. Once you have your manifesto, think about something to make you stand out from everyone else. In past years people have made videos of them rapping and dressed up as giant chickens to name but a few. A gimmick is entertaining, but not necessary.

The week involves talking to students and persuading them to vote for you, which sometimes involves lots of work, sometimes little. It feels good to engage with other students and get your points across, particularly if they are well received. It’s tiring, but a lot of fun, particularly meeting all the other candidates.

After all that comes the ceremony where the winners are announced. Even if you don’t win, the experience will have taught you valuable things about the university, not to mention maybe helping you make a few new friends. So, in short, if you are considering running, I would suggest giving it a go. What’s the worst that could happen?

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