Elections at SUSU are changing
Last Wednesday, your elections committee finalised the timetable for all SUSU Elections for the year ahead. SUSU is run by students at all levels, and so it’s vital that we deliver when it comes to elections. Feedback in this process begun from the day the Sabbatical elections ended in March, and through our Sabbatical blog and discussion groups in July.
The discussion picked out several key areas that I wanted to work on:
- An elections timetable that works as a whole, with holistic and clear marketing.
- Valued student leader elections (NOT classing them as ‘second rate’).
- Elections that don’t create apathy amongst our students.
So the tactic we’ve adopted to improve these areas is to reduce the number of individual elections periods. Excluding the upcoming referendum, we’ve almost halved the number of elections periods from last year, which now leaves us with 4.
- Course rep and Post Grad Taught Student Leader Elections (at the same time)
- JCR Elections
- Main SUSU Elections
- Academic President and Course rep Elections (overlapping)
The main change here is the ‘main SUSU elections’, which will feature the Sabbatical and Trustee + Student Leader + Union Councillor elections (check here for more information on what these positions mean).
With the exception of the 1st rep course rep & PGT officer vs. JCR positions, this means that we will have just ONE set of elections for each term. This will give us a massive opportunity in terms of how we see elections throughout the year and create clear marketing for them, so that more students are aware of the opportunities (to run AND vote).
It also means we have a chance to really value our Student Leader elections. In the last 2 years, we’ve been asking students to go out and vote for the main student elections… wait a couple of weeks… and then vote again – the student leader position will always been seen as an afterthought if it’s put after the Sabbatical elections. Putting the two together gives us so many more opportunities to explain what student leaders are about and empower the positions, without creating apathy amongst our students.
No arrangement is perfect, so it’s important that you raise any concerns or issues you think might arise with this system, so that we can look for solutions to them. I am confident this is the best solution to take democracy at SUSU forward.