A Day in the Life of a Student Officer Candidate
All week, this year’s student officer candidates have been working tirelessly to reach as many students as possible with their different campaigns. Anyone who’s been behind the scenes can tell you that it’s a hell of a lot of work!
For most of us though, the only thing we see throughout the five days is a lot of eager, flyer-holding people on campus offering sweets in exchange for a minute at a voting station. Perhaps if we make it to a lecture, we get to hear a shout out or two as well.
But what do candidates really get up to on a daily basis? Ellipsis reached out to everyone campaigning this year, asking them to explain what they are usually doing at certain times every day this week. We’ve put all their responses together to paint a picture of what the average candidate does as they look to win your vote. We’ll give you a hint: all that talking to strangers has to be fuelled by something, and if it’s not caffeine, it’s snacks (or a rewarding end of day pint).
Jonathon Foster- Every hour of the day during election week is vital, especially getting up and getting going! This year, I think, social media will play a huge role in the elections – especially due to the current strikes meaning there will be fewer people on campus throughout the day. Between 9am and 11am, you’ll be able to find me in the Courtyard or the Guild Starbucks, black coffee in hand, getting some social media promo done… When that’s finished off for the morning, I’ll be out canvassing all over campus!
Ruth Ransom- At 9:15 I will be attending the breakfast briefing, in which we will talk about the election so far and eat breakfast. I will be drinking a lot of coffee to keep me awake. After the breakfast briefing, I will be finding more coffee and going out into the guild and campus to talk to students about my campaign. I will be chatting to students by 11. I hope to have spoken to a good number of students and done some promotion through lecture shout outs.
Emma Hart- So this year’s campaign week is a bit different from previous years – supporting the UCU strikes means no 9am lecture shout outs! Instead of this, you’ll probably find me out and about on campus campaigning – and trying not to freeze! If you’re around, come and have a chat with me or anyone in my campaign team about my policies – I really think I have something for everyone!
Lucy Pilling- At 11am, my team will be canvassing students on campus, offering them leaflets and the opportunity to have conversations with us about my policies and aims as Guild President. I encourage all students to support the strikes and so will not be crossing picket lines to campaign! My team will be exploring campus, halls and other places students congregate to tell them my plans on supporting students academically, tackling sexual assault on campus, and making campus more sustainable, inclusive and accessible. By 12pm we’ll be stopping by the Guild Courtyard for one of their famous burritos, veggie of course!
Farrah Talsi- What would I be doing between 11am-1pm normally? Well, on any given week I would be grabbing some sort of snack to stuff into my bag before running off to lectures and hoping the lecturer is later than me. During campaign week? Meeting students and discussing my manifesto so that they know what I stand for and how I aim to make our Guild better… whilst probably holding some snacks and (maybe) sharing them. #SoFarrahSoGood
Rory Hughes- On a typical day in campaign week, I’m out canvassing students on campus talking about issues and the power of grassroots action. I will also be releasing memes as regularly as possible. However, this year’s campaign is very different as I won’t be crossing any picket lines… so no lecture shout-outs. Students democratically mandated the Guild to support the UCU in their strike action and I passionately believe in the power of Student Unions and Trade Unions. Student/Worker solidarity is the key to winning the fundamental battles and campaigns in Higher Education. So catch me leafleting in the cold this year!
Noura Qusairy- I’m an active campaigner- at this time I would have done some lecture shout outs and have spoken to some people. I would grab a quick lunch and continue talking to people about why they should vote for me, as if I win I aim to develop an interactive, integrated, and social campus with lots of fun networking events. Also, I aim to improve mental health services, as university life can be hard sometimes. Finally, I aim to ensure students gain more valuable skills, which makes it easier for them to get jobs when they graduate. And I’m sure if I win, you will win so make your vote count!
Joe Ferguson- With the strikes looming over the majority of election week, I as a candidate refuse to cross the picket lines for such a trivial reason, which my team supports. So after lunch (having avoided looking like Ed Miliband with a bacon sandwich) my team and I will canvas outside of the libraries to chat about my manifesto. Following this, I’ll be in the Guild, trying to avoid the temptation of a pint, talking to folks about my campaign promises on assured representation of minority groups, divestment from the arms trade and better mental health provision. Come find me and chat!
Esther Bukoye- Hey guys! Remember- change has no age limit, so get stuck in during the election process! #BeHeard There’ll be loads of cool posters around campus! I’ll be fluttering around having great conversations with you, rapping and even modelling my beanie! #HatSwag
I’d sum up my campaign in two words – innovative and achievable. Tackling traditional student issues with innovative solutions, as well as bringing to the platter unique and achievable ideas to improve the lives of students, so YOU get the BEST out of your university experience. So if you WANT BETTER, Vote ESTHER!
Alice Arnstein- My campaign approach depends on the strikes currently happening on campus. I’m proud to be campaigning at a time when so many people are standing up for what they believe in. I intend to do lecture shout outs if the strikes are resolved and if not, I’ll campaign on campus, sharing my manifesto with students face to face. Having a piece of cake during this time will mean I’m full of energy to discuss my ideas with students. Keen to meet with first years, at 5pm I’ll head to catered halls of residence to spread the word.
Tor Smith– 3pm is a pretty quiet time on campus, so I’ll grab some tea, as well as making sure all of my campaign team have eaten properly. After a quick break it’s time to head back out, canvassing outside one of the libraries. It’s important to talk to people and listen to their problems rather than just shoving a flyer in their face, as I’m never going to able to help them if I don’t listen first. Just before 5 it’s back to the Guild to go to some society events. Societies are the beating heart of the Guild, after all!
Aaron Furman- A day in the life of my campaign will firstly consist of a candidate breakfast briefing, then quickly going to a 9am lecture shout out and consistently doing these on the hour throughout the day. In between the lecture shout outs, I will heading all around campus to speak to as many students as possible about the election and why it is so vital to vote. Lastly, after lectures finish I will be going to speak at society meetings. I wish good luck to all my fellow candidates, whom will have the same tough week ahead.
Mary Otasowie- Most days I will be interacting with students via social media using the hashtag ‘#AskMary’. My aims are to respond to questions about the election process, get voters to share their opinions and to inform them on why they should be engaged! This will be primarily through Facebook and Twitter. I also intend to have pop up #AskMary events in halls of residence to personally interact with students.
Hannah Nguyen- After a long day campaigning (you’ll probably see us around campus!) I’ll most likely be spending my evening with the Help the Homeless Society. As co-president, it has shown me the issues our university societies face, including clashing events and struggling to promote the society to the student population. I see the solution to these problems to be the creation of a Guild app. After a successful meeting with Help the Homeless, you can find me having a well-deserved pint in the Sphinx and preparing for another day of campaigning! #YESWEHAN
So, there’s a bit more to it than meets the eye! Thanks to everyone for taking the time to tell us more about what being a Student Officer candidate involves.
Have you had your say on who will lead our Guild next year? If you have yet to vote, you have until 2pm tomorrow. You can do so by visiting the Guild Website and following the link from the ‘Vote Now’ banner, or you can cast your vote at one of the pop-up stations that can be found in in the Guild and around both libraries at different times during the day.
Once you’ve cast your vote, don’t forget to tweet us on Friday! Use the hashtag #GuildSOElection to have your say, and possibly see your tweet live on one of the Guild screens. Details here.