Incumbent SU sabbatical officers will be able to re-run for positions in the University’s Students’ Union elections for the first time this year, following legislation introduced in 2012.
Joseph Clough, Disabled Officer in 2011, told IMPACT that because some candidates running aren’t currently students, this means that “several of the exec will be taking their paid annual leave” during campaigning. He pointed out that “taking a holiday is not something that the students running in the election have the luxury to do”.
Luke Mitchell, currently Democracy and Communications Officer and candidate for SU President, said this would not necessarily act as an advantage to incumbent officers: “I work full time as an officer and I’m not using the time I should be working to plan my campaign. Some of the other candidates, if they’ve been organised, will have all the time in the world to organise a brilliant campaign. They also have the advantage of being able to come in with a fresh face”.
Clough added: ”It’s difficult to say exactly what effect having 2 year sabbs will have on the election itself… It’s important to note that the SU have done a great job this year at attracting many plausible candidates in this election”.