Student Officer elections for this academic year opened on the 8th September, including the positions of Faculty Officers, Liberation Officers and Action Group Officers.
On commenting on the importance of the elections General Secretary Charlotte Cook stated, “students need to know that they have a voice and an opinion worth hearing; that it should be these voices leading the work of their Union and directing the way the university engages with them.
“That is what the elections offer the opportunity to do. You can run to represent your course but you can also be a faculty rep and represent all students across disciplines.
“We also believe strongly in autonomy and equality which is why we have liberation representatives who specifically represent Black Minority and Ethnic, LGBTQ, Women and Disabled student groups.”
This year however the entirely new position of Student Community Officers has also been introduced. The Mancunion asked Community Officer Ellen McLaughlin as to why the Exec team believed the new role to be necessary.
“Primarily this role has been introduced to represent students living outside of halls. As the majority of students live in the private rented sector it seemed imperative to me that those students had a representative voice at the Students’ Union, the university and the council.
“The Student Community Officers will have the responsibility to gather student opinion in their areas and voice it to the university, Students’ Union and local MPs.
“However, Student Community Officers will hopefully also help foster positive relationships between students and local residents—who are currently more exposed to the negative actions of a tiny minority of students. The Student Community Officers will have the important responsibility to challenge this perception and ensure the hugely positive impact students make is celebrated.”
McLaughlin further expressed the hope that the new role will challenge the potential exploitation of students within the private rented sector.
Standing for the positions closes on Thursday 9th October at 5pm and voting will commence on Friday 17th October, with the successful candidates due to be announced in late October. Applications can be found on the Students’ Union website.