It’s that time of year again and the students running for Student Officer have been officially announced. Whilst the turn out vote for last years election broke records, with 26.88% of students voting, this number is still notably low when considering the role and impact of Student Officers at the University. With such a substantial impact on the University and Guild, as last years NSS Boycott demonstrates, it is vital that students participate in the officer elections and yet many are unaware as to what the elections are or why they should take part.
What is a Student Officer?
According to the Guilds website, Student Officers ‘work full time with us to make your University experience better.’ Essentially, Student Officers work to improve the lives of students on campus through policies which they have campaigned for during the elections. Student Officers are representatives for the students at University, so it is vital for students to engage in the elections, as officers can markedly effect the role of the Student Union. The Student Officers are made up of a President, Deputy President and two Vice Presidents who work full time and are paid a salary of approximately £19k a year.
How does it work and who can vote?
The Guild use a form of single transferable vote (STV) which is meant to allow for a large degree of proportional representation. Students will be invited to vote for candidates by preference (with preference number 1 being your most desired candidate etc.). The candidates will then be gradually eliminated until the candidates with the most overall preference votes win, resulting in four Student Officers. Any University of Liverpool student can vote, and you will be able to start voting from the beginning of March when the ‘campaign week’ begins. Running candidates will be all over campus, with slogans and policies galore. The final day of voting will be the 9th of March with the results coming in at approximately 7 o’ clock.
Who are the candidates?
This year, 15 candidates are running for the position. Each candidate provides their key policies and ideas as to how they believe the Guild and University can be improved. Recurring themes in this years policies include promoting sustainability and improving mental health facilities on campus. Previously, there has been a frequent pattern of those who have held the position to return for the maximum two years that the position allows. This meant that last year the only new officer was Rory Hughes, with his campaign ‘choose Hughes’ and policies based upon bringing in more funding for student media, as well as making bus travel and University gym prices more affordable to students. However this year, current President Sean Turner, Deputy President Ananda Mohan and Vice President Oba Akinwale will all be stepping down, so the elections are wide open with Rory Hughes being the only returning candidate.
All running candidates and their policies are accessible here.
Liverpool Student Media will be closely following the elections. The Sphinx, LSRadio and Ellipsis will be meeting and interviewing the candidates, examining both their policies and personalities. On the night of the election results, LSRadio will be releasing an exit poll as well as a live stream of the results.
Stay tuned for more information regarding the elections and candidates!