SU election campaigns are a familiar sight to anyone who has ventured onto campus in recent weeks. With the new SU team having just been picked it seems a prudent time to reflect on these campaigns and pick out a few ways in which they have been one familiar sight too many: a guideline for next year’s hopefuls.
People don’t like being harassed outside Hallward.
An inevitable sight of any campaign will be volunteers sporting colourful t-shirts and banners. No problem here, but don’t try and stop everyone walking past. They don’t want to talk to you, hence why they’ve got their headphones in and are staring furiously at the ground. Acting like a club-rep in Magaluf will lose you voters.
Haribo is not the only sweet.
Undoubtedly, the best feature of any SU campaign is the handing out of sweets; it’s a sure way of making yourself more popular for all of ten seconds. Without trying to be ungrateful, it’s worth pointing out that Haribo is not the only sweet in existence; cheap, yes, but a candidate arriving with an armful of Chomps would definitely get my vote.
Invading lecture theatres isn’t good for anyone.
B63 seems to be a magnet for SU candidates; they arrive in droves, pitching manifestos to possible voters. Except they’re not actually voters, because no-one in that room cares at all. They’re there for a lecture because they have to be, and your little pitch will simply make them be there for longer. You have no sweets: go home.
You are not the next Martin Luther King Jr.
This is an SU campaign, and though getting any sort of position is an achievement, you don’t need to adopt the rhetorical style of Barack Obama or Martin. It doesn’t suit the nature of the campaign and it will lose you voters; don’t have a dream, just bring me a Chomp.
Try not to make your video pitch really awkward.
Remember who you’re talking to; people will see this video being shared on Facebook, and if it’s too serious or has too many shots of you staring wistfully across campus, they’ll stop watching pretty quickly. You need to be more engaging than the latest viral cat video; walking slowly towards the camera reading out statistics like a news-reporter doesn’t cut it.
Keep it simple.
Students want to have fun, live cheaply and get a good degree. Address these things and stop doing all of the above items; you can’t lose.