It has become difficult to miss the presence of the candidates on campus – superhero outfits, banners, t-shirts, lecture shoutouts, videos being shared on Facebook… the list goes on. Approaching the end of the first week of campaigning, the exhaustion facing late night campaigning and early morning starts has not stopped this year’s batch of candidates. Many have managed to race to North Entrance to catch those with a 9 am start, flaunting their original (and at times distinctly unoriginal) banners and flyers. Impact caught up with some of the student population outside the Portland Building and in the Hallward Library, two prime campaigning spots, to find out their opinions on the elections.
Student apathy dominated any discussion on the elections, with numerous people claiming that they “don’t really care”. One student claimed he “probably won’t vote” as he did not know any of the candidates. Many similar opinions resided with people claiming, “I’m not that bothered about the Students’ Union” or “I’ll vote for whoever, if I remember”.
Whilst Nottingham has one of the most active Students’ Unions in the country, many students still remain largely disinterested. It is evident that, unfortunately, much of the student population is ignorant toward how the Student Union affects the student body, despite the efforts of the SU Exec over the years to change this. Whilst the SU did claim on application forms that it is not a popularity contest, this idea is prevalent amongst many students. One third year student, who kept up with elections coverage last year, expressed a lack of interest in this years contest, claiming that this year is simply a “popularity contest among the BNOCs”.
Despite the general indifference, there were still students showing excitement and a willingness to vote. Many recognised the importance of candidates’ experience, with one claiming, “I don’t really know anyone running, but I know some of them by face… I’ll probably have a look at their manifestos or something”.
While there are undoubtedly many students who do care about the SU Elections, there remains the long-running issue that many students still have no interest in who runs their Union. This is a problem without a simple resolution, and one that will remain long after this year’s results are declared.