‘On the Campaign Trail’ – What the Students Think…

It has become difficult to miss the presence of the candidates on campus – superhero outfits, banners, t-shirts, lecture shoutouts, videos being shared on Facebook… the list goes on. Approaching the end of the first week of campaigning, the exhaustion facing late night campaigning and early morning starts has not stopped this year’s batch of candidates. Many have managed to race to North Entrance to catch those with a 9 am start, flaunting their original (and at times distinctly unoriginal) banners and flyers. Impact caught up with some of the student population outside the Portland Building and in the Hallward Library, two prime campaigning spots, to find out their opinions on the elections.

Student apathy dominated any discussion on the elections, with numerous people claiming that they “don’t really care”. One student claimed he “probably won’t vote” as he did not know any of the candidates. Many similar opinions resided with people claiming, “I’m not that bothered about the Students’ Union” or “I’ll vote for whoever, if I remember”.

Whilst Nottingham has one of the most active Students’ Unions in the country, many students still remain largely disinterested. It is evident that, unfortunately, much of the student population is ignorant toward how the Student Union affects the student body, despite the efforts of the SU Exec over the years to change this. Whilst the SU did claim on application forms that it is not a popularity contest, this idea is prevalent amongst many students. One third year student, who kept up with elections coverage last year, expressed a lack of interest in this years contest, claiming that this year is simply a “popularity contest among the BNOCs”.

Despite the general indifference, there were still students showing excitement and a willingness to vote. Many recognised the importance of candidates’ experience, with one claiming, “I don’t really know anyone running, but I know some of them by face… I’ll probably have a look at their manifestos or something”.

While there are undoubtedly many students who do care about the SU Elections, there remains the long-running issue that many students still have no interest in who runs their Union. This is a problem without a simple resolution, and one that will remain long after this year’s results are declared.

Priyal Dadhania

6 Comments on this post.
  • Non-BNOC
    4 March 2011 at 22:41
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    This isn’t a popularity contest…hahahahahahaha

  • Rob
    5 March 2011 at 13:30
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    Maybe if candidates didnt just run on the premise that something witty rhymes with their name or they have a stupid costume or poster, then maybe students might be interested. My time at Nottingham saw few overtly political candidates running. Is there anyone this year who is actually talking about the number one issue that will affect all students in the next few years, education cuts? I doubt it, even if someone did, I doubt they have any clue how to fight other than, awareness or lobbying or some turd idea.

    • SarahDawood
      5 March 2011 at 18:12
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      I guess you could say that all the advertising, gimmicks, word-play etc is essential now though – because all the candidates do it in order to get attention, it would stick out like a sore thumb if a candidate didn’t have some catchy slogan or funny poster. It could go two ways, it could attract attention by sticking out and so produce the desired effect or their campaign could just go completely unignored because it wouldn’t be interesting enough, probably not a risk any candidate is willing to take…

      • Rob
        5 March 2011 at 18:23
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        Even still, none of the candidates combine the two of politics and gimmicks do they? I think most candidates dont put politics into because they dont have a view more often or not. Or they underestimate students interest in things beyond the eternal holy grails of ‘lenton bus’ and ‘better feedback’. If people were standing on a political platform they would be surprised with the positive response they would get.

  • dan
    5 March 2011 at 14:09
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  • Ben McCabe
    5 March 2011 at 17:04
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    BNOC is a term used to refer to a ‘Big Name On Campus’. I believe that Impact ran an article on it a couple of issues ago…

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