In case you missed it, the election candidates for the SUSU elections have been announced, and it makes for grim reading.
There are just 16 nominations for the seven Sabbatical Officer positions, with ONLY TWO for the position of President. It is one of the lowest number of nominations for years. But why?
Are people sure what a Sabb actually does? Recently, SUSU has released blogs with updates from our various representatives on what they’ve been up to in their first six months, but if we have to read a blog to find out then clearly they have not been very good at getting their message out.
The Sabb positions only make up a tiny proportion of the paid jobs in SUSU, and there are plenty of backroom staff whom they have little control over.
Perhaps the rise in tuition fees has led to students seeking to finish their degree and move straight on to starting a career. It may be that students now go to university to get a 2:1, drink and live the student lifestyle, and don’t care one bit for becoming involved in student politics.
When nobody can be arsed to run a joke campaign in your elections, that’s when you know you’ve got a problem.
Or so said an anonymous commentator to myself only the other day. There were FIVE for President last year.
Maybe the absence of joke candidates legitimises the elections a bit more. Campaigning for the elections is now a month’s long process, and it has discouraged joke candidates, but has that filtered through to real candidates?
There’s not even entertainment like this anymore.
I was in first year for the last election and I didn’t know what a Sabb was. But judging from the comments on this article, it doesn’t seem that many people were pleased with the way the elections went, perhaps putting them off this year.
Surely there is also a problem with legitimacy when under a third of the student body actually bothered to vote – 6,517 people voted, and even then only 4,737 voted for the President position.
Some say that to become a Sabb is to achieve ultimate BNOC status, but it’s probably easier to achieve this by devoting yourself to commenting on every Tell Him/Tell Her post, or spending every night getting in club photos, than winning an election.
The problem for SUSU is not only a low level of nominations for the top positions, there are very few positions up for contention below them: only SEVEN of the Student Positions are contested out of 31, and TEN of those positions have received no nominations at all.
Do you think that SUSU has a problem with encouraging people to get involved in the elections? Let us know in the comments below!