Last night, the candidates running in this year’s Student Leader Elections took their campaigners and their banners to Ocean, the spiritual home of the Nottingham student. We went along too, but while they sported hand-painted signs on the balconies, we asked University of Nottingham (UoN) students what they think about the SU elections, whether they engage with them, and what they know of this year’s team.

Fin, 2nd Year (ambushed in the Ocean queue):

A snapshot of Fin trying to name at least one of the current SU officers.

What is the Students’ Union?

Fin: “An organisation that is there to represent the students.”

Do you care about the SU elections?

Fin: “Not really, I don’t have much to do with the SU!”

How many times have you been asked to vote this week?

Fin: “Probably around 3 times.”

Are you going to vote?

Fin: “Yes.”

How many current SU officers can you name?

Fin: “None.”

Flo, 2nd Year (another non-ticketed Ocean-goer we spoke to while queuing):

“How many full-time officers are there again?”

What is the Students’ Union?

Flo: “A council that decides what goes on at university.”

Do you care about the SU elections?

Flo: “No.”

How many times have you been asked to vote this week?

Flo: “Twice.”

Are you going to vote?

Flo: “No.”

How many SU officers can you name?

Flo: “None.”

After I had finishing bombarding those in the queue with questions, I made my way inside and targeted the only place in Ocean quiet enough to have a conversation: the smoking area.

Av, 3rd Year

The moment you realise that you have absolutely no idea what the exact definition of a Students’ Union is.

What is the Students’ Union?

Av: “A collection of people working hard to try and make the University a better place.”

Do you care about the SU elections?

Av: “Yes! As a part of MedSoc, I care about this a lot.”

How many times have you been asked to vote this week?

Av: “None yet.”

Are you going to vote?

Av: “Yes.”

How many SU officers can you name?

Av: “Only Ismail [Sadurdeen], the President.”

Beth, 1st Year

What is the Students’ Union?

Beth: “A student body that runs the committees and societies at University.”

Do you care about the SU elections?

Beth: “Yes.”

How many times have you been asked to vote this week?

Beth: “Just the once.”

Are you going to vote?

Beth: “Yes.”

How many SU officers can you name?

Beth: “None.”

Jack, 3rd Year

“It’s hard for me to sum it up but it’s an organisation that represents the student and student life.” Jack summing up Impact Magazine.

What is the Students’ Union?

Jack: “It’s hard for me to sum it up, but it’s an organisation that represents the student and student life.”

Do you care about the SU elections?

Jack: “Yes.”

How many times have you been asked to vote this week?

Jack: “None just yet.”

Are you going to vote?

Jack: “Yes, of course!”

How many SU officers can you name?

Jack: “Ismail Sadurdeen, the President; Becky Player, the Activities Officer; Matt Bramley, the Postgraduate Officer; Beth Massey, the Education Officer, and Katie Leach, the Equal Opportunities and Welfare Officer.”

Ocean is not normally your first port of call for political discourse, yet almost every student we interviewed seemed to have an opinion, good or bad, about the ongoing SU elections. With a VK in hand more often than not, this was the perfect place to find out what people really think about the whole contest.

Despite the diverse mix of students interviewed, there were some common themes that kept coming up again and again. The majority of students were unable to name just one of the current SU officers, and they all had to think long and hard about what the SU actually is and what it does.

Regardless, it is clear that students are ready and willing to engage, at least in some capacity, with the elections process, and what better way to do so than with a drink in hand, swaying to that ABBA remix that hasn’t changed since we all arrived?

Oh, and for those who didn’t know, here are your full-time officers:

Ismail Sadurdeen: SU President

Abel Hartman: Community Officer

Lauren Heria: Sports Officer

Matt Bramley: Postgraduate Officer

Becky Player: Activities Officer

Beth Massey: Education Officer

Katie Leach: Equal Opportunities and Welfare Officer.

Nick Scott

Images: Denise Odong for Impact Images

Follow Impact News on Twitter and Facebook for SU Elections Coverage. 

Look out for us in Crisis on Wednesday – we’ll be measuring your mid-elections interest!

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