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Your voice, your vote!

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It’s that time of the year again when we get to make the very crucial decision in choosing the eight leaders that shall run the largest Students’ Union in the UK. Let’s exercise our voting rights to elect the most enthusiastic and passionate candidates who are willing to work relentlessly towards enhancing students’ lives.

I am so amazed at the progress our SU has made since the time I started University in 2016; they’ve renovated the Students’ Union building, increased opportunities for international students, hosted multiple Reclaim the Night protests, and more. Over three years, I have recognized the difference a good team can bring to the table.

I’d encourage everyone to take time out to read the running candidates’ manifestos and, after careful consideration, elect the right person to run their Students’ Union. Their decisions are going to impact your student experience, so have your say, make your vote count and choose the candidates that are more likely to make a difference.

Just as we think about our NHS, tuition fees, our police force when voting for our next government during the country’s elections, similarly, we must vote for our next candidates at this year’s SU Elections thinking about our university experience, our future, our resources, etc. To put more emphasis on the need to vote, we have three officers from our SU expressing their thoughts on why it is important to vote:

“Sometimes it can be hard to see the connection between voting for your leaders and the impact that might have on daily life. But, it’s quite similar to you not noticing your sibling’s height as they grow taller because you live with them every day – it’s happening, you are just too engaged with everyday life to notice it, but it is definitely happening. That change can be good or bad, important to some and not to others, but you get to decide what that change might look like, even if you’re too busy to pay attention.

“So, take time out, read people’s promises to you, see what works for you and vote for that person to bring about that change you want, not just at the Students’ Union Elections, but in general too. For example, at our Mayoral Elections in Greater Manchester, and our country’s elections as well! You live here, and ultimately whether or not you vote, those elected will change the direction of how processes are run. Every single vote matters because every single person matters. Please use your voice – and vote!”

– Fatima Abid, General Secretary at the Students’ Union, University of Manchester

“UoM students should use this annual Exec Elections to exercise their democratic rights and elect their leadership for the next year. This is an exclusive opportunity that students have to make their voices heard, reshape the Union and the University to what they want to look like.

“I cannot begin to explain the positive impacts elected student representatives have on student lives and the society. From lobbying for recorded lecture podcasts, introducing international and postgraduate exec roles, accessible gender-neutral washrooms, increased prayer spaces and securing affordable accommodation to fighting for a greener university and Manchester, standing up for migrants and lobbying against government’s raise of tuition fee – the elected leadership have stood at forefront. So, students shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to vote. Also voting in elections could be a treat as we have a number of surprising prizes including tickets for gigs and a free graduation package. So please VOTE!’

– Riddi Visu, International Students’ Officer at the Students’ Union, University of Manchester

“It is of the absolute important that students vote in these elections. A lot of people don’t realise that the students who are elected play a key role in the decision making process not only in the Union but the University as well.  They sit on the highest level of University committees and play an influential role in the local community.  They have a lot of influence and it is so important that students read manifestos and vote for the person they think is best! Especially if that candidate is running on policies which mean a lot to you!”

– Sara Heddi, Women’s Officer at the Students’ Union, University of Manchester

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