Whilst elections at university don’t seem to get as much hype as frenzied primary school campaigns for fizzy drinks in the bubblers, or create as much chaos as a fanciful plan to abolish the ‘no hat, no play’ rule, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t as important to your studies and campus life. While elections themselves tend to get a bit of attention purely for the heated vying for positions, it’s important to re-centre and consider what these elections are actually about- and that’s the ability for students to elect their preferred candidates who they feel will represent themselves and the university to the best of their ability.
Just like those rogue troublemakers vying for school captain by presenting rhyming speeches on how homework sucks, the nominees, once elected, will petition for your rights as a student, and bring up issues affecting students- even how homework and assignments suck!
Maybe I’m getting carried away there, but you get the gist. They’re here for you for any issue, big or small, and work to ensure that if they can fix it, they will.
As with any election, voting for student representatives is incredibly important. Voting ensures that the candidate that is most aligned with your goals and values has a higher chance of being elected, and also that our best possible student representatives get elected.
Fiona Mundie, Manager of Student Representation, shared that “Getting the right person in the role benefits all students that the specific role relates to…Someone who is experienced and has the wellbeing of students at the centre of their motivation is always best.”
This is crucial for any student studying at the university, as the elected candidates are the student voice– bringing up issues that affect us and remedying them, as well as facilitating a better and more accepting learning environment for us all. Their impact on the university knows no bounds, and entirely depends on the motivation and enthusiasm of the elected representatives- pretty much, it’s up to you, the student, to make your university life the best it can be by choosing the right representative.
Plus, the elections for Academic Senate, College Boards, University Council, UNSA, and the NUsport Board are all for wildly different purposes and assemblies- do you really wanna take your chances and not vote, when the outcome of that vote will almost definitely impact you in one way or another?
Putting your vote in is a piece of cake– you’ll get an email when voting opens, detailing who your candidates are and their candidate statement so you can get to know the nominees- what their experience is, and what they hope to achieve for you, the student. Then all you have to do is head over to the familiar interface of myUON and open up the Surveys portal and select your vote! Students will also be able to attend events to ask candidates questions and get to know them a little better before the votes are finalised.
Whilst you may not be making a hugely weighted decision, like voting for government parties, voting at university still has a substantial impact on your life- if someone is representing you, no matter whether it’s at university as a Student Representative, or as a Prime Minister, surely you would want to be a part of that decision.
The next elections for student positions on University Council, Academic Senate and College Boards are in Semester 2, with Council, Senate, and Faculty Boards first then UNSA SRC elections slightly later.
Keep a watchful eye over your emails for nomination notifications, ears peeled for whispers of campaign planning, and then get voting!!
Featured image from Dan Dennis on Unsplash