Elections are now open for the Executive Officer and part-time officer roles at the University of Manchester Students’ Union for 2020-2021.
This will be the Union’s 159th election season, with votes opening on February 27th and closing March 5th.
Polling stations are set up across main, north and Fallowfield campuses until Thursday March 5th in the SU, at the main library, Uni Place, Barnes Wallis building, the Schuster Building, Owens Park tower and Squirrels bar. Voting can also be carried out online throught University of Manchester Students’ Union website.
The SU describe the Executive Officer team and part-time officers as “your voice to the University and the community around us, and they make real change for students right here at our University.”
“Whether you’re passionate about welfare and student rights, creating positive change, holding the University to account or just voting for the students who you want to represent you, this election is an opportunity to get your voice heard and make an impact on what matters to you at University.”
Voting is open on eight full time Executive Officer positions, all of which are contested, as well as a range of part-time officer positions such as liberation, faculty officers, student community, and access.
Exec Officer candidates were given the opportunity to take part in hustings on Tuesday 25th in an event open to the student body.
Questions were submitted by students for candidates to answer, on topics including supporting international students and study abroad programmes post-Brexit, how to make the University more environmentally sustainable, improving intersectional inclusivity, mental health services and the current UCU strikes.
Last year’s election week was marred by controversy after four candidates, running on a ‘slate’ – or a common platform – and a further individual candidate were banned from campaigning in-person in the final days of voting after some students accused them of snatching their phones to then vote for themselves.
Two of these candidates were then succesfully elected, with Rana Phool becoming the SU’s first Postgraduate Officer and Kwame Kwarteng elected as General Secretary.
Kwarteng is currently running for re-election as Gen Sec for 2020-2021. Two other Exec Officers – Chloe Salins, the current Education Officer, and Adam Haigh, the current Welfare and Community officer – are also running for re-election.
The Students’ Union are offering insentives to students to encourage voting, with rewards for all students if certain voter turnout figures are reached. The first two mile-stones of 750 and 1000 votes have already been reached meaning the SU are providing free upgrades on drinks at the ground floor coffee shop, Brew, during election week, and half price on all items at Brew during revision season in April.
Other incentives include free icecream and chips during revision season if 2000 votes are reached, 50% off all food and drink in the SU bar, 352, for 8000 votes made, a funfair at graduation if 15,000 votes are submitted and a promise to plant a tree for every voter if 20,000 votes are made.
For more information on candidate manifestos and how to vote, visit the SU website.