At the University of Essex, we are now approaching the time of the year where the students select the people who they want to run the Student’s Union next year. Move over Cameron and Corbyn, the only election that matters at the University of Essex, which is taking place on the 10th-12th February! There are 7 paid full time positions up for grabs, as well as 12 voluntary part time positions, so there’s lots to talk about!
It’s going to be a jam packed hectic few weeks for the candidates, as they’ll be battling it out to be elected. It’s quite different to the nationwide general election and it can be quite complicated, so here’s a rookie’s guide in understanding what is to come!
Replacing the hustings from previous years, debates are being held this year so that students can hear from the candidates themselves about the issues that matter most. It will also be a great opportunity to hear about why the candidates are standing for a position, what they are planning to do if they are successful and why you should put them as your #1 when voting begins.
Last year, I thought these events were really good as it gave you the opportunity to see what the candidates were really about by putting them on the spot about a range of issues. These are being held at the Colchester campus in EBS 2.2 from 6 pm – 8 pm on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th February with the candidates of 3 of the full time positions headlining each night. A separate debate is being held for the VP Southend position which is taking place at the Forum lecture theatre from 6 pm – 8 pm on Monday 8th February. Another debate for Loughton students will also take place for the position of President at the Student’s Union on Monday 8th February from 6:30 pm – 8 pm.
Manifestos and Campaigning
Manifestos are one of the most important things about the election process! They sum up everything that the candidates want to achieve over their time in office and why they think that they should be elected over all the other candidates. Along with the debates, this will be the main thing that voters will be judging them on, so they will be there to impress! These will be released when voting starts at 10 am on Wednesday 10th February.
On the days before the election there will also be candidates with signs and banners, wanting to talk to you on the squares about their policies. This is a great opportunity to get to know the candidates personally and for them to answer any questions that you may have about their campaign. There will also be things on social media so keep an eye out for that as well!
Voting takes place from 10 am on Wednesday 10th February until Friday 12th February at 4 pm. Voting is done through the Student’s Union website and each student can vote for each position once. Each candidate’s manifesto will be able to view when you vote, so take a look at them if you’re not sure who to vote for. Be aware that when you vote, you’ll also have the option to vote for R.O.N (re-open nominations). This is in place so you can vote no confidence in any of the candidates and ask for the nominations to be open again for more candidates to stand. Also, when you vote, you will be asked to vote in terms of preferences where you’ll rank each candidate in order.
For example, if a position has 6 candidates then you are able to rank them from 1 to 6 in whichever order you like. This is because the winner is determined as a result of rounds of voting. So, if a candidate is eliminated in the first round of voting, their other preferences are passed onto the other candidates to increase their votes. It’s quite a complicated system, but it does mean that your vote can stretch even further if your favourite candidate is eliminated.
The results of the election are released over the course of the evening of Friday 12th February in Sub-Zero. The results for part time positions are done before the full time positions, with the final result of the night being President. It’s a fun and emotion filled night, where all the candidates can celebrate the end of a hard fought campaign!
I hope you’re now excited for the upcoming election! It’s an eventful couple of weeks, with lots going on, so keep your eyes out for everything that’s going on!