Student Union elections are coming up on a lot of campuses this term. Time to dust off an old post I wrote last year. Try not to vote for people who say things like this:
Hi. I’m running for [position] in [students' union name] because I care about what the union can do for you. I am a friendly and approachable person with the passion and commitment to take our union forward. I am passionate about my CV and committed to my future career.
I have lots of experience sitting on some committee you’ve never heard of in a position you didn’t elect, where my spineless toadying brought minimal changes. I was head [boy/girl] at my school full of rich kids who faced no actual problems, and for some reason think that this fact is relevant to my campaign for a leadership position in a union. I have also served as [treasurer/secretary/persistent arse licker] of the debating society which is weird because I have no discernible opinions about anything.
I will aim to represent all students rather than push a political agenda, because I’m afraid that if I tell people what I think about things, they will disagree with me. I will rise above factional politics by refusing to ever commit myself to anything. Students are sick of politics getting in the way of achieving change. I will improve communication by sending out more of the same emails that people will, for some reason, actually read this year.
Some people say that students have become apathetic. To them I say: I don’t care about this. But I will put my name to some wanky liberal campaigns that no-one except a hard-right nut-bar could complain about. Probably something to do with the environment. But I pledge to continue to use the myth of student apathy as a cover for my right-wing views.
I have no principles in which to ground my policies so I will just write the first thing that comes into my head, something like [more vending machines/more student discounts/something vague to do with sports facilities] to make it sound like I’ve actually thought anything through.
I think it’s imperative that we keep the cap on tuition fees because I want to pay lip service to a tradition of student radicalism to which I have never belonged. We can achieve this through mature negotiations and not mindless activism. I passionately believe that people are stupid enough to fall for this crap. We need to find dynamic and efficient new ways of sitting on our arse for a whole year while the Higher Education sector is smashed to pieces.
Vote for me because I am the pragmatic, experienced candidate and I will deliver on my promises, if you can remind me what any of them were. Here is a photo of me in some costume or other during freshers’ week to remind you that I like a laugh, really. And in the end, isn’t that what student unions are really about?