1. "I’m not political enough." - There aren’t particular issues you have to be passionate about to vote or to get people to vote for you, other than being interested in making things better for students at Brighton. Some elected officers and reps get involved in a variety of campaigns and issues; others focus on other areas of the role.
2. "Someone else is more likely to win." - Most people who nominate themselves believe this, but someone's got to win. You might think that someone else has more experience, more friends or is just more likely to win. But with thousands of students voting there are no guarantees with elections. There are often cases where people who didn't think they would win are elected.
3. "It’s just a popularity contest." - There are no guarantees or certainties with elections. Just because you think someone knows lots of people, it doesn’t mean those people would vote for them. Remember every vote counts and by encouraging those around you to take a few minutes to make the most of their right to vote, you can shape the way the Union runs. Knowing people that you can talk to and try to persuade to vote for you can help but with thousands of votes cast in some elections, no one can know that many people!
4. "I’m not the right sort of person to get involved in elections." - There is no such thing as the “right sort of person” to put themselves forward or vote in elections. Every member of the Students’ Union has the right to vote (membership is automatic for all Brighton University students) and every year different people with different views, ideas and experience win. Just because the current officers focus on particular issues, or projects, it doesn’t mean you have to or that you have to vote for similar people.
5. "I won’t have time." - If you are thinking about nominating yourself, full-time officer roles are paid full-time positions for one year. They’re designed to be as accommodating as possible when it comes to completing your course or year of study, and the Students’ Union provides training and support to help you carry out your responsibilities within the Union.
6. “There’s no point, you’ll never change anything.” - Students have been instrumental in introducing big changes at Brighton over the years. The introduction of our No Detriment policy, reducing the time it takes to receive academic feedback and introducing several different campaigns that help support your wellbeing are just a selection. There are also lots of examples of smaller changes that improve things for students, and many of these have been led by elected students.
7. “I’m not sure it’s for me, I’m happy with things at Brighton.” - You don’t have to have an endless list of big changes you’d like to make to vote or nominate yourself. If you choose to nominate yourself there is nothing wrong with putting together a simple list of small suggestions. Sometimes it is small changes that can make a big difference. Why not ask your friends if they have any ideas for things they would like to see changed?
8. “It’s too complicated.” - If you decide to nominate yourself as a candidate, the online nomination form is designed to be straightforward. You just fill in a few details about yourself and have the opportunity to upload your photo and then add in your objectives, which can be as complex or as simple as you wish.
9. “I don’t have the right experience to nominate myself.” - You don’t need prior experience to put yourself forward in an election. It is up to students to decide who has the best suggestions and enthusiasm; it isn’t like going for a job interview where someone looks over your CV. You don’t have to have been a member of a sports club, worked for the Union or been a course rep to run for an officer position. Experiences like these can provide a useful insight into how the Students’ Union and University function but are by no means essential.