‘On the Campaign Trail’ – Out In the Clubs

As the Student Union elections reach their final days, all the candidates are making one last desperate bid to gain votes. Last night, Cr-isis was the venue for the last club night of the campaign, so Impact went out on the town to investigate.

Even when there were virtually no students in the club, the candidates were already there to fight over prime spots on the balcony to pitch their banners. Whilst they waited for the night to get started, they used a scrolling screen of texts to promote their campaigns or in some cases take jibes at their opponents.

Impact spoke to Rosie Tressler, who said she was really nervous about results night. After putting her all into campaigning she thinks she’s done all she can, “I’ve been running around like a headless chicken. Today I’ve been at Sutton Bonington, University Park and the Musicality show.” Meanwhile, Michael de Vletter’s campaign for Education Officer is uncontested so he said that his campaign is slightly less stressful, but added that it was important to get his face out there because “every vote matters”.

However, whilst the candidates felt it was important to make their presence known at the clubs, there were mixed feelings about how effective it was. LGBT candidate Abi Alcock said: “It’s only really worth campaigning when people are sober. I’ll probably leave at about 1am because if people are too drunk then they won’t remember your name to vote for you by the morning.”

We will know on Friday how many students have voted in these elections, but the general consensus from students at the club was one of indifference or even annoyance at having their night disrupted by campaigners. One first year said: “Everyone’s saying ‘Vote for me!’ but no-one’s giving me a reason or why I should.”

Helen Trimm & Fiona Crosby

6 Comments on this post.
  • Stuart Neyton
    10 March 2011 at 10:16
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    Suggestion about the message board: either moderate the messages or get rid of it!

  • vanessabrown
    10 March 2011 at 11:09
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    @ Stuart: What is your suggestion in reference to? Impact’s messageboard or the one on the University Portal? :s

  • David
    10 March 2011 at 11:18
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    ‘One first year said: “Everyone’s saying ‘Vote for me!’ but no-one’s giving me a reason or why I should.” ‘

    I don’t think this is restricted to the club-based campaigning, nor do I think it’s something that’s new to the elections this year. While it’s certainly true that most students don’t seem to care what the candidates have to offer, it’s a real shame that ‘on the ground’ campagning is rarely anything other than standing by a banner in a T-shirt, handing out sweets and/or flyers – the Candidate Question Times are useful for getting beyond that kind of campaigning, and I’d say that from memory the large Portland QT last Friday was better attended than any of the equivalent events in prior years, but that’s not something that is limited by space even if more people were interested, but a candidate out and about campaigning who is happy to engage with interested passers-by stands out a mile.

    • Rob
      10 March 2011 at 11:51
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      I agree David. I would like to see the club campaigning part banned. You cant talk to students so its useless, it favours those who are friendly with owners or staff in the club, and not every candidate wants or feels comfortable in a mainstream boring as fuck club.

      Keep elections out of the clubs because no one can seriously say they are doing serious campaigning work. Want to promote yourself? Talk to students!

  • Michael
    10 March 2011 at 12:59
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    This was a fairly pointless article. If you’re gonna write about this then you really have to take a stance

  • Stuart Neyton
    10 March 2011 at 15:37
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    Sorry, wasn’t clear. I was referring to the message board in crisis referred to in the article.


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