Sheffield Students’ Union has now closed nominations for the next SU Council members.

The SU Council is a group of students from across departments and representative groups who have the power to decide what the purpose of the SU is and embody the voice of its students. 

They work with the University to ensure students receive the quality learning and teaching experience that is part of the University’s promise to every new student.

Beth Eyre, current SU President, told Forge Press: “Deciding our position on the strikes, how we were going to approach the learning and teaching [when the pandemic hit] in March was all decided by the SU Council.

“It deals with a lot of stuff that is integral to what students go through [at University]. If you sit on Council then you have a voice in making these decisions.

“A lot of people will know that we don’t sell bottled water in the SU shop anymore. This came about as a result of a policy passing through the SU Council.”

This year a total of 57 positions are available: 46 departmental councillors (one from each department), 8 Representative Councillors (Women’s, BME, Disabled students’, LGBT, Postgraduate Taught, Postgraduate Research, International Students’, Mature Students’) as well as the Sports, Societies and Ethical and Environmental Councillors. 

Elections for the current SU Officer team took place in March and saw a record turnout with 30% of the student population (9,383 students) casting a vote. However turnout for SU Council is notoriously lower. 

The reduced turn-around of a 24-hour voting period this year hopes to increase the number of student votes cast.

With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the election process will run a little differently this year.  

Eyre explained: “The only real change is that there will be no physical campaigning. It is pretty self-explanatory as to why this has happened but, in my opinion, it is a really interesting time to see how students are engaging. 

“I think it is actually a bit more inclusive now because everyone has the equal footing of the internet as their only platform.”

Any student, in any year, can run to be an SU Councillor upon the recommendation they are passionate, opinionated and driven, with the desire to speak up for the students of Sheffield.

This year, SU Council will be dealing with policies directly relating to teaching and learning in the pandemic, making it more important than ever that the views of all students are represented. 

Voting will open Tuesday 3 November on the Sheffield Students’ Union website.

Image Credit: Sheffield Students’ Union

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