I don’t know about anyone else but I am sick to death of the Student Union elections.
These two dark weeks (which is ironic as they occur at a time of year when the weather is more favourable) are marred by a rag tag collection of fools who hover about Park Place, screeching their cries, and forcing leaflets into your hand. It is a daily chore to pass these loud and annoying creatures, but it is not the end yet, oh no. You normally arrive at a lecture and you find they have followed you in. That’s right, just as you thought you were free (until you pass park place again) they pipe up with their shite slogans and surprise you with their complete lack of political material.
I wouldn’t mind these pests so much if they maybe had some compelling or novel policies behind their campaign slogan, but that is often too much to ask. Instead we are fed the idea that we should vote for someone because they are dressed as giant cat (get it, her first name is Cat so she has themed her campaign on our feline friends, what an imaginative and hilarious individual). Either that or they’ll use some other vague pop-culture reference, like dressing up as some character from Coronation Street who shares the surname of the candidate. After all they might see the need to lower themselves down to the level of us simpletons.
The worst case scenario is that you end up with a hopeless gimmick as your SU President, as happened at York University when they elected a pirate as president (even then at least he was committed to something, although whether “Talk like a pirate day” is important to York students or not remains to be seen). Maybe it would be a better idea if campaigners dressed up as giant arses, as it would be a better reflection of the shit some of them speak.
I feel a more satisfying way to deal with student elections would be to keep the campaigning as it is but change the voting system, so that each candidate is put in a set of pillories for two days and the one who is least disliked (i.e. has had the least rotten fruit thrown at them) wins. Let’s be honest the only winner is democracy itself.
I realise of course that people may call me a cynic for writing about this matter as such, claiming that despite the trivialisation of the whole event, the student union election is an important process. I have no doubts that it is, but I have spent three years here at Cardiff Uni now where each time we have voted for a new sabbaticals etc, despite their enthusiasm, they have changed little. I have seen few improvements in the running of the union to be fair; therefore I think I have earned the right to be a bit cynical.