The University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union will elect a new executive committee and student council body on March 22, and before we know it, every surface of our campus will be covered with the faces of everyone running for positions.
Each student who decides to campaign is driven by different things — a passion for radical changes on campus, the desire to give students the best experience possible, or maybe just the chance to slap an executive position onto their resume. Whatever their motives may be, your fellow students are currently getting ready to participate and compete in this race for campus royalty.
If you’ve been on campus during past election seasons, you understand the chaos that ensues during these two weeks, and it is surely quite the experience for those new to the U of S.
From the midnight poster race on the first day of campaigning to the tenuous and stressful networking and forums that occur, those running have a lot on their plates, and everyone else — or at least those who are paying attention — has a lot to take in.
All positions in the USSU are up for grabs, from the coveted executive seats to the representative positions for each college, and every year brings a new onslaught of ideas and campaigning strategies to the table.
In the past couple of years, we have seen it all, from flash dances that halted the rush of the Arts Building ramp to hashtag blitzes on social media to the use of memes for campaign slogans for some good old relatable youth content.
USSU election season can be a time not just for new and fresh ideas about ways to improve our campus but also a time for students’ creativity to shine, as we watch these new and innovative campaigns unfold.
While it can look like glitz and glam to some or worthy of an eye-roll to others, these student campaigns take up more time and energy than a lot of people realize. The work behind the scenes, prior even to nomination, can be more intense and vigorous than the actual campaign weeks.
For most people running, the USSU election season takes up a lot more time than just the two weeks that undergraduate students, staff and visitors get to see. Months of preparation take place — building your campaign teams, learning the ins and outs of the campus and its services, and creating a feasible and captivating platform — and it’s an impressive organizational feat.
The student voice is important. Your ideas could create some serious change on campus if you are a part of the USSU. Running may seem scary and stressful, and a lot of the time, it’s more exhausting than you would think, but it is an experience worth giving a go.
A forewarning to all: just know what you are getting into. Running a campaign, even just in student politics, is far from a walk in the park, but if you are driven by your passion for change and care for students, it is worth it, all the way.
And, while the USSU elections may seem daunting to those watching or just an annoyance that will not leave you alone for two weeks, I would encourage students to look into the platforms of those who are running and actually try caring this year.
Show up to the forums, learn about what the positions all mean and what these individuals are responsible for, ask questions and express your concerns to those who are running. You have a vote, so use it. People like to disregard the work student leaders do on campus, but their voices are where change often begins.
Photo: J.C. Balicanta Narag / Photo Editor