The nominations for the annual SURHUL elections are now open until March 7th. Although you may be preparing to dodge the flood of campaign teams lobbying outside Windsor building as you skate to your next lecture, or getting ready to brush off the hundreds of campaign leaflets that are about to clog up your bag – I ask whether if it has ever crossed your mind to take part in these elections?
With the whole campus entrusted to elect, four Sabbatical Officers, Student Trustees, the entire Executive Committee and the heads of the student media organisations: The Orbital, Insanity Radio, and RhubarbTV – the Students’ Union are urging Royal Holloway students to consider running in the 2014 elections.
Elections are key to ensuring the student voice is heard within the University and the Students’ Union. Many students think it is not for them or doesn’t affect them. So, here are a few misconceptions about being an officer and running in an election…
[quote]You need to have been involved in the Union before to run and definitely if you want to win[/quote]
Actually, you just need to be passionate about the role. You don’t need to have been a society president, part time officer or volunteer. Full training is given for the role to ensure you get up to speed before you start. The Sabbaticals have a handover period in July, and the Executive Committee are given training at the start of the academic year to help you settle into the role.
[quote]I’m not popular enough to win![/quote]
It’s not about popularity or how many societies or sports teams you’re a part of or know. Any candidate can approach clubs and societies and ask them to support them and the best way to get students to champion you is to write an honest, appealing manifesto that speaks to the students.
[quote]Officers can’t achieve anything in a year![/quote]
In addition to representing you at a local, regional and national level, Sabbatical Officers sit on the Board of Trustees at the Union, and are heavily involved with the day-to- day operations of the SU. It’s their job to help facilitate and implement any changes or improvements to the running of the Union and to University policy, so this is why a lot of their ‘behind-the-scenes’ work may go unnoticed to many students.
However, they can of course achieve considerable successes within a year – whether it’s lobbying the University for improved services or organising major events, their influence can be felt throughout all aspects of University life.
Running in an election is a rewarding and exciting challenge, sometimes all you need is a bit of faith and some support to make that first step. Chatting to a member of the Exec Committee or one of the Sabbs can calm those initial fears. So why not give it a go and hand in that Nomination Pack? Ask yourself, what will your story be?