5PM yesterday marked the deadline for students to nominate themselves for student office and officially submit their nomination papers.
Last year saw 15 candidates stand, a number which many thought represented a sign that student apathy was beginning to melt away. This wasn’t to be the case however, in-fact the turnout last year actually declined, despite the increase in the number of candidates running for election.
Whilst the deadline for nominations was 5pm yesterday, the official process takes slightly longer. Once a candidate has expressed a desire to stand for election Student Union officials must review nominations in line with eligibility requirements. As it stands today we are currently aware of 10 potential candidates standing in the forthcoming elections, scheduled to take place between the 1st and 3rd March. The candidates are as follows:
VP Equality and Diversity
VP Student Activities
It will be interesting to see how big a role the ‘ticket system’ plays in this year’s election. The ticket system allows candidates to form a team, or a party of sorts, in order to pool resources and utilise a ‘safety in numbers’ mantra. This system has been the subject of a wealth of debate within the Student Council, with critics arguing that the system unfairly disadvantages independent candidates and should be banned entirely.
Thus far there is one clear group or ‘party’ of candidates running under the banner ‘REUNION’. Candidates in this group include, Chris Leneghan, Bradley Allsop, Leah Rea, Paul Loughran and group leader turned Presidential candidate Sean Fearon.
Despite an active Student Union attempt to encourage more women to stand for election this year’s known candidate list shows a measly two female candidates. Within the ‘REUNION’ group female representation stands at just 20%, a far cry from the equal representation advocated by the individual members of the group. Further issue might be taken with the fact that the 4 out of 5 of the group are white and male, which may provoke the colloquial challenge; check your privilege.
As the election looms there is no better time to get involved and have your voice heard. If you have any opinions, questions for candidates, or interest in writing a piece for The Scoop, please get in touch: @TheScoopQUB or email@example.com