Student Union election manifesto

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?


Filed under Student Issues

35 responses to “Student Union election manifesto

  1. Duncan

    This is fantastic.

  2. I love it. Scarily on the mark.

  3. Imperialite

    What if ALL the manifestos are like that? *sad face*

  4. Nabil H

    That is actually a genius and ironically true piece of creative writing.

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  6. “I’m YOUR candidate, for YOUR union” was the best/worst line I ever heard in someone’s NUS speech. Actual quote.

  7. Man in the corner

    What a heap of crap. Better to be apathetic like the majority than willing to leverage the position to the maximum in order to achieve a personal goal…. which will never be achieved, because it’s just a poxy student union position.

    I would take a thousand pragmatists over one evangelical activist.

    Just so you know, I’m not a tory.

  8. Red Sonja

    That is seriously excellent, and also very funny

  9. Lorcan Mullen

    Spot on.

  10. Marsha Todd

    So true it is actually scary, in all the years I’ve seen these things so many are actually like this.

  11. Sam

    Can I have permission to actually use this as my manifesto? Edited up to not be complete lies (I was a never head boy). I’ve been thinking about running a protest campaign quite seriously, however this aspect for the manifesto would probably show it up better than a sanctimonious tirade and the ineffectiveness of the position.

  12. Sure if it’s within your SU rules. But I still reckon running a serious manifesto is better.

    Or you could do what this guy did (scroll down to David Hansen):

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  14. Freddie

    Because you’re clearly so much better and morally superior than everybody else?

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  17. Marcos

    I’m sensing at least one bruised ego

  18. worst article i have ever read.
    i hate socialist muggles who vote their sweaty gommo friends in.
    you know who you are – dug dale

  19. You forgot to remind everyone that “I oppose RACISM and stand against PREJUDICE”, and a poor image macro/ “Meme” as your campaign poster. Then it’d be a shoe in for any SU election in 2012.

  20. no

    This text is horrible. It’s not too far off the mark — people do run campaigns on vague suggestions, no experience and the desire to be important without any actual aim. Ok. But this text shows an unpleasant side to the writer, who thinks that everyone is a clear-minded cynic. There’s no room for the naive, amiable incompetence of people here.

    Fair enough that this stuff is important and is being ruined by most people’s somewhat self-serving shortsightedness and willingness to buy into a stupid system. But the model you have up there of your typical student politician is wrong. This post preaches to the choir, encouraging those who are already radical to be more hateful of the non-radical. (“Radical” not as in essentially radical views, but just as a name for the student activists &c.) That’s not nice. And if you want to effect change, I think you need to understand the motivations of those your are trying to change.

  21. Inconvenient

    I really laughed when I read this and think it hits the mark in very many ways. Satire is the best means of explaining the problems of politics to people and you use it very well here to point out the major flaws of student union politics since the ’80s. Well done.

  22. This is really good. I’ve been a part-time student officer/exec on my Students Union for two years, so I guess I’m part of the problem, but I laughed a lot as I read this as so much of it is true. Apart from my campus recycling project all my manifesto points were similar to these!

    • Marcos

      ‘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.’ ;)

  23. Onome million

    Dat’s was ok , but i’m campaigning for an HEAD BOY

  24. shivam

    it,s not gonna b a cup of tea anymore.

  25. JP

    This is really funny!

    I hope someone is running who you can vote for, if not the best option is to run yourself.

  26. Hugh

    These candidates are the best kind. They leave the university administrators to get on with supplying education and don’t distract students from staying in the library learning about things.

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