Image: Warwick Media Library
Image: Warwick Media Library

The phenomenal SU election turnout proves student politics matters

Are you one of those students that loves to get political? Are you pathologically obsessed with the meaningless folly of social status? Do you want to feel the gravitas of “getting political” without having to understand the complex realities that actual political discussion necessitates? Then do we have the event for you! It’s time for the Spring Warwick Student Union Election.

Many people have made stern critiques of student politics for its ineffectiveness and irrelevance, but those people are wrong. Student politics has a meaningful impact on our lives, naysayers be damned! I’m eagerly anticipating our next SU President sitting in on meetings with Theresa May and her Cabinet, and giving Sorkin-like speeches to convince the government to abolish tuition fees.

Then there’s the SU’s fight for more study space to address the dangerous overcrowding of the library. Feeling the immense pressure of the union, the university has been forced to respond. As such there are now plans in place for the university to plough money into building a shiny new sports centre. Chalk that one up to the tactical geniuses over in the SUHQ, and give yourself a big pat on the back.  

I’m eagerly anticipating our next SU President sitting in on meetings with Theresa May and her Cabinet, and giving Sorkin-like speeches to convince the government to abolish tuition fees.

And don’t forget the constant strife with Stagecoach. Throughout history, titans have fought era-defining battles, from Caesar vs Pompey to Nelson vs Napoleon, and the SU vs Stagecoach will surely be immortalised alongside them. And this year, I’m pleased to write that the SU scored a homerun. They managed to stop them ripping off students for replacement passes, huzzah! Now all we need to do is to reinstate the Sydenham route, improve the off-term bus service, make buses turn up at regular times, and stop their buses from being the vehicular equivalent of Room 101. No pressure.

Don’t worry though, students at least realise the importance of ensuring an extensive and well represented SU leadership chosen in vociferously fought elections. That’s why eight positions remained vacant, and five candidates ran unopposed, one of whom couldn’t even be bothered to submit a manifesto. This is truly the most hotly contested election I can remember since the Tory 2016, post-Brexit Electric Boogaloo leadership contest. People scoff that student elections are merely glorified popularity contests, defined by a democratic cronyism where the most popular candidate who can convince the most friends to vote wins. However, the enthusiastic competition amongst candidates will surely dissuade such a ridiculous perception.

Eight positions remained vacant, and five candidates ran unopposed, one of whom couldn’t even be bothered to submit a manifesto. This is truly the most hotly contested election I can remember.

And to be fair, we don’t even need candidates for some of those positions anyway. An ethnic minorities officer? Who needs one of those – we don’t have any problems with racism, and our university certainly hasn’t been embroiled in high-profile racist incidents recently. Please ignore the banana episode from 2016, and the recent revelation that a Breitbart contributing Warwick student is an admin for an extreme right-wing Facebook group. Nor do we need a women’s officer to pressure the university into ending any gender pay gap within our university. We already ended sexism and racism, didn’t we?

Nothing reflects the importance of this student election better than the turnout of 4550 students. That’s almost 1/5th of all students enrolled at the university. What a stunning turnout there was – it just shows that students intuitively understand that their vote and sabbatical officers matter. I look forward to another successful year where they’ll definitely do something. I’m sure of it.

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