Did you know that as a student at the University of Brighton, you’re automatically a member of the Brighton Students’ Union (BSU) and are eligible to vote in the upcoming elections? March can mean many things; the month of optimism, Pisces and Aries season, Mother's Day or just the start of spring and the sunshine that should come with it. The fourth week of March may be historically known as World Fable’s week, but we can assure you, the Students’ Union Elections are no fable – this is real, real change happening! We get to engage with more of you than at any time during the year and get to welcome a fantastic set of new officers into our family ?
So, here’s why you should vote in the upcoming Elections to make sure your views are represented in the 2020/21 academic year…
So what are the officer roles?
In order to be elected, Officers must create statements they aim to fulfil during their time in office. Each of the Officers will be responsible for different aspects of student life. Here are some of the responsibilities your officers will have throughout the 2020/21 academic year:
Your Union President will be responsible for attending meetings with the University and other key stakeholders to ensure that your voice is always heard. This includes regularly meeting with the Vice Chancellor and taking the lead on projects such as the Big Build and the National Student Survey.
Vice President Activities
Your VP Activities will take the lead on all society and sports activities, making sure your time outside the classroom is one to be remembered. They will work closely with societies and sports teams to support fundraising and any projects they wish to undertake. They will work especially closely with the Raise and Give (RAG) group as well as Student Media Groups.
Your VP Welfare will take the lead on all issues affecting your welfare during your time at the University of Brighton, working with students to create campaigns and policies. Alongside this, they will be your point of contact for all matters Widening Participation as well as supporting those students who have come to university from less traditional backgrounds.
Your VP Education will take the lead on furthering the academic interests of all undergraduate and postgraduate students. They will focus on the academic experience students have during their time here at the University of Brighton, working with students to develop policies and action plans. Your VP Education will work closely with the Student Voice team as well as actively advocating for BAME and post-graduate students.
Alongside the Officer positions, we also have three NUS conference delegate spaces up for grabs. Those elected will represent the students of the University of Brighton at the annual NUS conference being held in Liverpool. The NUS conference will see a new President elected as well as continuing the movement for change at all higher education institutions across the country. Students from across the UK will come together to discuss, deliberate and vote on issues that matter to them. The top voted issues will then become the policy of NUS UK and be used by sabbatical officers to build change and make change happen at their universities.
Why is voting so important?
With a record number of people showing up to the polls in the recent December 2019 general election, it’s clear that the values of democracy in British society are stronger than ever before. The elections brought our student body together, seeing students campaigning tirelessly for causes they were passionate about, such as our NHS. The Students’ Union Elections will be another chance for the whole student body to pull together and make sure the changes we want to see on our campuses are taking place.
SU officers are involved with the highest-level university decision making and they represent YOU, putting students at the heart of any changes. Elected student Officers will make change by campaigning to the university, so make sure you vote for the Officers with statements that resonate with you! Be critical when reading the statements – has the candidate created those Smart Measurable Achievable Realistic and Timely targets that your lecturers are always on about? Are they likely to achieve what they’ve set out to achieve over the next year?
This is your Students’ Union so you can hold the elected Officers to account. If they’re not fulfilling their statement, ask them why! Remember, this isn’t a popularity contest so vote for who will help you make the most of your time here at the University of Brighton. You know that society that means the world to you, the one where you met your best mates and maybe even your soulmate? That society is only possible as a result of all the hard work your previous officers have put in over the years! So, are you ready to cast your votes?
The elections aren’t just for undergraduate students!
Apprentices, postgrads and diploma students, don’t shy away! You’re as much a part of our student community as the undergraduates, so make sure you vote online and pick the Officers that’ll best represent you in the 2020/21 academic year!
What do I do now?
Over the next few weeks, our candidates will be campaigning to secure your votes. Keep an eye out for their manifestos and make sure your voice is heard!