The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Meh-lection frenzy sweeps Students’ Union Exec

Exec position nominations see lack of interest, even though advertised for people who “fancy earning £16.6k” or “taking a paid year out”

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Nominations for Executive team positions closed on Friday after a last-ditch effort by the Students’ Union to drum up interest.

The nomination results see two prior Exec team members, the Community Officer and Education Officer, standing for two different £16.6k positions this year.

The nomination period was marred by a lack of interest from the student populace, and two positions, General Secretary and Community Officer, were uncontested until as late as last Tuesday.

The promotional techniques used by the Union also came under fire, as staff desperately tried to encourage students to stand.

A status posted by the Manchester Students’ Union Facebook page read, “Fancy earning 16.6k next year? Or taking a paid year out of your studies? No interview and no experience needed! STAND”.

Similar messages, uploaded to the Union’s Twitter page, prompted negative replies.

“Shame this is how you’re trying to get people to run,” tweeted former University of Nottingham Exec officer Elizabeth Goddard.

“I know. Hence the retweet, made me cringe,” echoed one student on Twitter, who is also running for seven positions – every role available, except Women’s Officer.

Current Exec staff also attempted to persuade students to run.

Current Diversity Officer Omar Aljuhani posted on Facebook, “Even if you are not sure whether to run or not… just fill the form and decide later.”

The lack of female representation during nominations was of particular concern to current Women’s Officer, Tabz O’Brien-Butcher.

“There are currently no women running for the positions of Diversity, Campaigns or Activities in the Manchester SU elections,” Tabz posted on her Facebook page last Monday.

“If you know a woman who would be great in one of these roles, give her a message and let her know that you think she’d be fab!”

Eventually every position was contested, including an entry for Member of Parliament for Withington John Leech, who was “rejected from the running because he couldn’t provide proof of student status”, according to a notice posted in the Students’ Union on Friday afternoon.

Eleven students are running for General Secretary, and nine for Diversity Officer.

Community Officer and Wellbeing Officer both received seven candidates each, while the Activities & Development Officer and Campaigns & Citizenship Officer roles saw six candidates apply for each.

Finally, four students are standing to be Education Officer, and four for Women’s Officer.

Voting for the Executive positions opens on the 14th March.

  • Laura

    Strong feelings about this article have come up in conversation many times amongst different groups of my friends in the last week, so thought i’d make a point of coming onto the website to raise this. This article is offensive as much as it is absurdly inaccurate. All positions have plenty enough people running for them, I have two friends running for positions and both of them put their applications forward on the last day as they were working so hard on them (something you’ve made a point of discrediting with the ‘No interview and no experience needed’ quote) and were reviewing their applications right up until the last minute, because they want to win that much. This is more than likely the case for most candidates, not that positions were uncontested. Our university has a wide array of passionate, dedicated individuals who are currently fighting and working hard to get to represent their fellow students, just like the Mancunian should. These efforts and the amazing manifestos and proposed changes we can look forward to in the following year are something to be celebrated, not ridiculed. This article has materialised indifference for the sake of making a front page story. The Mancunian is supposed to be the voice of the students, bringing us together to provoke our thoughts, consider and to care. Instead, this article has gone out of its way to promote indifference about the elections and the future of our union. What a demoralising waste of time – The Mancunian couldnt be further than what it was a year ago.

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