February 02, 2007

Election Fever Hits Campus!

Whoop de doo! It’s that time of year again, where half the Amazonian rainforest gets pinned to notice boards around campus, 5 minutes are lost at the start of every lecture and there’s more chalk on walls, pavements and the like than there actually is on blackboards. Yes it’s election time once again, where a load of people who clearly aren’t busy enough already go around and try to convince us that they’re going to change the union for the better and make a load of promises that will make the university nothing short of perfect, without any suggestion that in fact it’s all just so they can put it on their CVs.

I must say that I didn’t really pay that much attention last year, partly due to not being entirely sure what was actually going on, but now here’s my own view on the first 8 hours and 35 minutes of election campaigning!

The highlight of all the pre/post lecture speeches today must have been where insert name who was running for insert post (can’t remember details unfortunately, which highlights the effectiveness of her speech) came in at the end of Maths of Random Events and asked ‘Can a take a minute of your time please?’, which got quite a loud shouted response of ‘No!’ from the audience (it was the last lecture of the day), although she pleaded and one kind soul mumbled ‘Yes’, after which she gave us the quickest speech I’ve ever heard (impressive time at less than 10 seconds)! At the start of said lecture, there was also Anna, running for President, who was the complete opposite of this and treated us to a tirade that must have lasted a good 2/3 minutes (with the added bonus of going round in circles it seemed). Anyway, onto the poster campaign highlights of the day!

The (so far) two most irritating campaigns seem to me to be these:
Elecion Posters One

Here we have the most annoying slogan in ‘CommuniKate’, which, to be fair, probably took her a good few minutes to come up with. She also seems to enjoy sitting in the pub alot too, judging by the background image. Underneath we see Matthew Lloyd’s campaign to be whatever it is he wants to be, which seems to consist entirely of finding words and names that rhyme with Lloyd (so far Freud, Annoyed…). Clever. Finally, my favourite campaign so far (which I still can’t fathom whether he’s actually being serious or taking the piss), is that of Joe Shepherd:


Nice to see someone claim that it’s not actually going to be put on their CV, which is a breath of fresh air (although I suppose we’d never actually know if he ever did or not). Another of his reads something to the effect of, ‘He’s actually been to an AGM’ complete with a drawing of a guy asleep on the officers’ table at the meeting. Also, I love the complete lack of professionalism in the poster design – so he’s not taking it too seriously it seems. Nevertheless, he’s the only person that I’m so far tempted to actually vote for!

Anyway, I hope to be back for more mindless, poorly informed ramblings about the elections over the next week. I hope you greatly look forward to them (although I would understand why you wouldn’t…)!

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  1. This is one time I actually don’t miss being back at Warwick. I generally didn’t vote in Union elections on the basis that most of them all seemed to have very similar things on their manifestos, a lot of the campaigns (scrap fees, lobby for a Fresher’s Week, etc) won’t make the blindest bit of difference and would be a complete waste of time and they all pissed me off by graffiti-ing the pavements all over campus and I refused to vote for anyone that used that method. Also, the cynic in me said that while most of the candidates for most of the Sabb positions had words to the effect of “I want to make a difference for you”, “I’m passionate about YOUR union”, etc… I suspect these messages were a thinly-veiled way of saying “I want to make a difference to my CV this time next year” and “I’m passionate about making people know MY name”. Plus, much as all these wannabe-politician campaigns annoy me, I didn’t vote in the hope that the results wouldn’t reach quorum and they’d have to do it all over again – I wanted to see what the Union’s reaction would be, as such an event would be quite embarrassing. Finally, of course, there was the infamous No Smoking “ban” and the position the Union took on the lecturers’ industrial action, which put me off voting for anyone in that place ever again.

    02 Feb 2007, 21:12

  2. Alex the Cynic

    Union elections are pointless. There are no exceptions to that rule. Candidates are elected purely as a result of one big popularity contest, since none of the manifestos are worth the paper they’re (not usually) printed on.

    Personally, I will be voting as follows (as I have done for the past three years): in favour of anyone I know and like who’s standing; against anyone I think is a fool, and/or does not deserve to have the material for their CV; and “re-open nominations” for the rest.

    So much for democracy?

    02 Feb 2007, 23:46

  3. I’ve actually already decided to conduct an experiment into how big a popularity contest the whole things. Basically (and feel free to call me sad if you want) I’m trying to see if there’s any correlation between the number of Facebook friends they have before and after the election, and who gains the most friends over this time, and the eventual result. I’ll place my findings on my blog when the results are announced. Watch this space!

    03 Feb 2007, 17:47

  4. Having just taken a quick look at the blogs to see some of the reactions to the elections I thought i’d add a few quick comments – more to the other comments than the post! (NB: I’m standing so possibly some some bias!)

    With regards to the CV side of things, I wouldn’t expect anyone to be purely standing just for the love of the union – if they were I might worry! I think holding a sabbatical position would look pretty good on my CV and I wouldn’t deny that. However what I would say is that several of the candidates have been involved in the union from the start of their university life and have put a lot of effort into running societies, clubs and various other student events. I think the opportunities that the SU opens to students through clubs, socs and services are amazing, yet this is not the only reason I am running. I think that the union has a huge amount it can improve on and a long way to go and I firmly believe that my experience (both professional and union related) would be of benefit – especially as the role of sabbatical officers will be very different next year if all the building work goes ahead as planned.

    Popularity contest? Unfortunately so… I would like to think that people actually read the manifestos and take some time to think about who they’ll be voting for but often this isn’t the case and can lead to unsuitable people being elected. Using facebook as a campaign tool was debated heavily by exec when elections group brought the regs for approval and came back two weeks running

    I’m still dubious about using social networking sites for campaigns for various reasons, however it will be interesting to see if having this additional channel will significantly increase the number of people voting – and if so will they vote for all positions or just for the person they know is running? – I will try to remember to check back for the results of your facebook poll!

    Finally, voting RON. Only thing I would say on that is after RON, you can still continue to number the candidates in order of preference and this can make a difference.

    Cheers, Alex.

    04 Feb 2007, 15:42

  5. Eric

    For more mindless, poorly informed ramblings on the officer elections and other union politics, may I point you in the direction of Disorder Disorder

    06 Feb 2007, 03:31

  6. 06 Feb 2007, 15:08

  7. Lucy Griffiths

    If I was still a student I’d vote for the Big Band guy who is running for SSDO because I think he’s fit.

    Oh, and he has some policies or something as well.

    06 Feb 2007, 18:07

  8. Good stuff Ian. If you can snap anymore examples of stupid publicity that’d be ace, might try and put together 5 minutes on it for my next Reckless gig…

    06 Feb 2007, 20:20

  9. You know if he gets elected and then attempts to put that on his CV, he can get in all sorts of trouble.

    07 Feb 2007, 05:55

  10. 07 Feb 2007, 11:51

  11. Has anyone seen any “chalking” this year? If so, then I must be going blind! I’ve not noticed any at all.

    07 Feb 2007, 15:30

  12. Quite surprisingly, there hasn’t been any at all as far as I’m aware. Maybe everyone realised how ridiculous things got last year, so decided vandalising stuff isn’t very good publicity…

    07 Feb 2007, 16:13

  13. Hey Joe… Sabbs actually have to handle a fair amount of work. Certainly works better on the CV than “Worked at Costcutters for a year” or half of the other jobs students get before they apply for a real one.

    07 Feb 2007, 22:50

  14. I’m actually finding Josephine’s campaign literature funny.

    08 Feb 2007, 23:30

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