What's it like to run for a position: A personal perspective

One of the Union's elected officers share their experiences and thoughts about elections and being a student officer:

Why get involved with the Union?

The Student Union is an awesome organisation to be a part of and being part of the Exec Committee really gives you the opportunity to understand the cogs and how everything runs behind the scenes so to speak. Amongst other skills, being on Exec will improve your confidence, time management, organisation, planning abilities and team work. It is a real opportunity to implement any ideas and plans you have linked to Welfare.

Why run for election?

I decided to run because I wanted to get involved more with the Student Union. Being an Exec Officer appealed to me as a new challenge and an opportunity to implement ideas and passions I have concerning the roles specific portfolio. The nature of the role was something I felt I could offer as well as the ability to pursue campaign ideas and address students.

What was running like?

Running in the elections themselves is a great experience – the process is tiring and can feel quite long with multiple hurdles to overcome, however the adrenaline gets you through and it’s so much fun; it was unlike any other challenge I’ve ever taken part in before. The process starts by filling in the application pack and handing that in, then a meeting will be called once nominations have closed where you find out who is running and all the guidelines for campaigning and regulations are given out and explained.

What was campaigning like?

Everyone has their own plan of how they want to campaign but most will produce posters/leaflets, maybe videos or blogs. That week was incredibly busy, most spent every day all day and the evenings campaigning, talking to students on campus, going door to door around halls and speaking to clubs teams and societies to round up support. It is so important to get the buzz about voting around campus. Nothing can really prepare you for the madness of the campaign period but you will get from it what you put in; I met so many people during this time and made friends that I might have never had the chance to meet. I would encourage you to speak to the other candidates across all the roles, there is a great sense of unity.

What if you don’t win?

I am loving being on the Exec Committee, it is hugely rewarding and has provided me with great experiences to take with me following graduation, but even if I didn’t win I still would have been glad that I ran for the role. You gain so many skills throughout the process, and gain knowledge about the Union and University, you might never have known. Yes, I would have been disappointed, but that doesn’t change the fact that running for a student officer role is a reward all on its own.

So go for it, what do you have to lose? There is no time for what ifs?