Love them or loath them, as we head towards March we all start to brace ourselves for one thing—student election season!
Love them or loath them, as we head towards March we all start to brace ourselves for one thing—student election season! Suddenly the number of Facebook posts about everyone’s favourite mate turns to how they will improve your students union, or how it’s not in fact their union but one run by you.
So how do we know that it’s time for the elections?
Facebook tells us
Suddenly your Facebook news feed has been taken over by a flash-mob of profile pictures where it now apparently looks as if that one person you vaguely know is saying and doing everything – ever.
As if the number of Facebook pictures weren’t enough to make you realise that it’s this time of the year, you also get an abundance of requests to ‘like’ the page for whoever is running for what. You can probably guess who will win simply because you’ll be pestered with their page the most.
The posters are out
Every year we see hundreds of campaign posters pop-up in the weeks running up to the elections, only to have the losing posters linger around for days longer than they should do.
The campaign posters usually seem to focus more on the person, or most likely their name, rather than what they intend to do. Name slogans seem to be used more now that every variation of “it’s your union” has been used to death.
The Campaigners are loud and proud
You grow to love the dedicated people who seem to fruitlessly stand outside every University building encouraging you to vote for their friend, or whoever runs their society telling you that you shouldn’t just vote for them or their friend but you should at least vote.
The home-made campaigns
Due to a limited budget, student unions often give their candidates a small budget, as such you get the full force of painted slogans on what is usually meant to be strategically coloured shirts – or most likely leftovers from fancy dress nights.It’s not a real student campaign until you’ve seen a banner hung up with washing line or a flag propped up with taped up cans of beer.
Campaigners are “invited” to speak in lectures
Usually you crave that small break between a two hour lecture but as voting period slowly arrives, you spot them lurking in the doorway – candidates! You know why they’re there. They want to tell you why you should vote for them. You just want to vote to go and get a brew.
The union itself takes a brunt of it
Student unions often take a lot of flak, whether it’s how much they manage to help students or whether they manage to stump up the money to pay their officers (usually less than £24k). Everyone seems to have an opinion on what the students’ union does but it definitely comes out during election time.
Usually that tends to be to the people running as opposed to any incumbents.
People start taking to social media to complain about elections
As we get deeper into the election season there’s always more and more people who seem to be getting furious at the number of people out campaigning and the amount of chatter on social media.
Nothing quite seems to say its election season than a passive aggressive social media outburst about what you’d shove or where you’d shove it to the next campaigner who offers you a poster and a slice of cake.
I await this year’s dosage of memes that will, no doubt, soon be trickling through the system and entertaining our news feeds more than those questionable poster designs.
What signs tell you it’s time for election season? Have your say in the comments section below.
Image: Matt Dinnery / Flickr