By Olly Davies and Charlotte King
This week’s Autumn Elections are not only to elect Cardiff University Students’ Union’s new LGBT+ (Women’s) Officer. Cardiff University students are also being given the choice to vote for the new Student Senate, Scrutiny Committee, NUS UK Delegates and NUS Wales Delegates. To provide some more context to the Autumn Elections, Gair Rhydd has looked into what each of these four bodies does for the Union.
The Student Senate
According to the Students’ Union website, there are 25 spaces up for grabs for students hoping to be one of the Union’s next Student Senators. The Student Senate has 12 places reserved for women and the other 13 are “open places”.
The Student Senate is described as “the Students’ Union policy making body” wherein students sit as Senators to represent the wider student body. According to the Union, it is their “highest regular decision-making body” wherein Student Senators reportedly work to ensure that the Union reflects the student body accurately in its values and ideals.
Across each academic year, the Student Senate meets five times to discuss ideas submitted by students on the ‘Ideas Hub’. Any idea submitted on the hub can be upvoted or downvoted by Cardiff University students and will be put forward to the Student Senate for discussion.
The Scrutiny Committee is a subcommittee of the Student Senate and they provide the checks and balances for all elected officers at Cardiff University. There are five members who will be elected through the Autumn Elections with another five being appointed after interviews with the Chair of the Student Senate. The role of the Committee is to question the work of elected officers and assess the progress they have made during their tenure.
NUS Wales Delegate
The role requires delegates to attend NUS Wales Conference held on March 4-5 2020; there are nine spaces available to fill. The purpose of the NUS Wales Delegate is to represent the student body of Cardiff University at Wales’ annual conference where the students’ unions across Wales scrutinise the work of NUS Wales. They also decide on policy and campaigns, as well as holding elections for the NUS Wales President.
NUS National Delegates
Additionally, nine places are also up for grabs for students hoping to represent Cardiff University’s student body at the national NUS UK Conference held on March 30-April 2 which sees the policy-making body of the National Union of students as a whole come together to debate and vote on motions regarding all UK students and elect new leadership for the organisation.
The Autumn Elections use a transferable voting system. This means that when students vote for their preferred candidates, they do so in order of which they prefer the most going down.
To be successful, a candidate must receive 50% of the total number of votes plus one extra vote, at least. However, if a student does not agree with any standing candidates, they can also vote to reopen nominations.
Voting for the Autumn Elections opens on November 4 at 09:00 and can be done via the Students’ Union website.