Welcome back to your daily round-up of the election news, during the Officer Elections at Sheffield Students’ Union.
Voting (finally) opens
After what has felt like ages since campaigning started a week and a half ago, voting is at last open, giving you the option to pick your next Officer team.
You can cast your vote by logging into the Students’ Union website. As well as the Officer positions, you can also vote on the referendum on NUS membership and for the Elected Student Trustee.
At the time of writing, more than 9,000 votes have been cast by more than 2,100 votes, a turnout so far of 6.88%.
GEM gets ahead of herself
Welfare Officer candidate Gracie Marlow seems to be visualising herself on the job already.
Today she posted a photo of herself stood against the wall of Officers, replacing Reena Staves as Welfare Officer on the team. Someone’s obviously feeling confident.
Let’s all be nice, eh?
Current Welfare Officer Reena Staves has called for everyone to be nice to each other during the course of the election. She tweeted that candidates should be kind and respectful to each other while the process of selecting the new Officers team is going on.
A word on the @SheffieldSU elections. Being a candidate can be incredibly stressful. Please make sure you are kind and respectful to fellow students/candidates. Good luck to everyone who is running, and please remember to look after yourselves throughout the campaigning period.
— Reena Staves (@Reena_A_Staves) February 19, 2018
Who needs tuition fees?
Thursday saw the second round of Forge Debates being held, with Education being one of the roles discussed.
All four of the candidates for the role turned up, and discussion centred around suitability for the role, as well as other policies rather than tuition fees.
Amber Xinwen Zhang proposed a free school bus to replace the Women’s Minibus, but was criticised by Anna Crump Raiswell and George Bunn, who thought it was more important to protect women coming back from the library or nights out.
Chris Olewicz was also quizzed on his policy of an SU work placement fund for unpaid payments, and George Bunn suggested it’s more important to prioritise liberation.
The debate between the three Women’s Officer candidates was quite reserved, with them putting forward their own case for the position rather than them challenging each other.
Mayeda Tayyeb admitted that she couldn’t fully represent all the groups which the Women’s Officer is responsible for as she isn’t a member of those groups but would use her time in the role to work with the Equality & Liberation groups, and Mel Acquah emphasised the importance of inclusiveness.
Jessie McGuiness used her year abroad in Greece as an example of why she is qualified for the role, saying she saw many things related to hate crime that most of us don’t see on a daily basis, making it an important issue for her to tackle.
Athletic discussion of sporty matters
Much of the Sports Officer debate centred around proposals for a Roar season ticket, and how achievable it is, given past attempts have failed and current President Kieran Maxwell failed to introduce a Pop Tarts season ticket, as was in his manifesto last year.
Saskia Marriott also disagreed with Sarah Dewhirst on her policy of subsidising gym membership fees for club members.
Everyone gets along well(fare)
Unlike the roundtable, five of the candidates turned up for the debate. Shaw Tun Qi and Mollie Badmos joined the three who came to the roundtable.
Cian summed up the mood of the debate nicely, saying how much he liked all the candidates taking part – a noticeable change from some of the other Debates.
Katharine said that she had experience through working with victims of human trafficking and similar crimes, while Gracie quoted her time as Women’s SU Councillor as setting herself up nicely for the role. Shaw talked about his experience from International Students’ Committee and Mollie described how she had worked with people in hospital departments.
Rather than just talk about mental health, other topics surrounding welfare were raised, including safety on nights out and drug policy.
Actively calling for accountability
Again, all but one of the candidates turned up for the Activities roundtable on Forge Radio, with Zunair Imtiaz the only one who didn’t turn up.
Many of the same topics from the Activities debate were discussed again, such as locker space for committees and accessibility of societies.
Harry Hatter said in the roundtable: “If promises aren’t delivered we need explanations as to why, so people aren’t promising the same the following year.”
Healthy hour of Forge Radio
Only three of the eight candidates took up the opportunity of an hour with Nick Cassidy on the Welfare roundtable (how could anyone resist that?) – Cian O’Herlihy, Gracie Marlow and Katharine Swindells.
They mainly talked about sexual health and mental health, saying how important an issue the latter is, but also how they don’t believe they can fix it during their year in office.
Learned discussion around the table
Michael Chilton hosted a tough roundtable with three of the four education candidates on Friday evening. Amber Xinwen Zhang declined the chance to appear.
Topics were supposed student apathy about the issues education deal with, SU funding and the egos behind student politics.
Join us again tomorrow for your roundup of news as we draw towards the end of the Elections period.