This post was written by Gabi Binnie (Welfare Officer), Evette Prout (SU Development Officer) and Sharmin Jahan (Women’s Officer) on behalf of the Students’ Union Officer Team.
Hopefully you’ve been aware of the current Officer Elections – at least you’ve probably seen the people in wacky outfits around campus, with homemade signs and puns of varying quality! But what’s it all about? The 2015-16 SU Officer team want to tell you why the Elections are important.
This time last year, the eight Students’ Union Officers who are working for you currently were in the same situation as this year’s candidates: intense but fun! You are forced out of your comfort-zone into things you would never normally get the chance to do, which is scary but such a great experience. Elections were a whirlwind – from face-to-face campaigning, to door-knocking, to lecture shout-outs, to frequent social media posts, to radio and television interviews courtesy of Forge, to creating campaign material – a lot was going on… Not many job applications call for an individual to participate in such an array of activities, or give you such a breadth of skills in such a short space of time. The whole process was life-changing, and our confidence and skillsets undoubtedly grew as a result of this unique experience.
Now, the eight of us work full-time as your SU Officers! You might not be sure what the Officers actually do, or if it’s worth voting. But if you are a student here at The University of Sheffield then it is very likely that your life will have been affected by the work of SU Officers, present or past.
Officers work every day to bring forward the interests of students to the University, as well as locally and nationally. Whether it’s by encouraging the University to provide more support for students, helping students run campaigns important to them (like getting the University to commit to divestment from fossil fuels) or even just by having an influence on what is sold in the SU shop (the recent addition of hummus pots, for example). Just a few things the Officers have done this year: getting academics to seriously look at making Wednesday afternoons free for sport; having a massive input into the University’s new learning and teaching strategy (including asking questions about whether we look at new ways to assess students); creating drug support drop-ins and campaigning on loads of issues, like No Barriers to Education, international student rights and feminism.
So if you want the SU to make changes that you think are important, then it is important to vote for the right person to make it happen!
Get more info on the elections, check out the candidates for each of the Officer positions and read their manifestos here. Manifestos are the easiest way to see what candidates stand for and think are important (and they are short!). Read through the manifesto, see which policies you believe are ones you would want to see happen – it is important you vote for the candidate that you feel represents you most. If you don’t want to read about the candidates (or want more information – the manifesto doesn’t always cover everything due to the word limit) you can also check out their videos, have a chat with them in the concourse or follow the Forge debates online or on Twitter.
Go Vote at sheffieldsu.com/vote
– Gabi Binnie (Welfare Officer), Evette Prout (SU Development Officer) and Sharmin Jahan (Women’s Officer).