The UNB Student Union elections are upon us once again! Soon campaign posters will be plastered in every hallway on this campus encouraging students to vote. It’s awesome to see so many people running for executive positions. While thinking about this election, I began thinking of my own Student Union campaigns and wanted to pass on some advice to the UNBSU executive candidates.
All executive candidates should be able to answer this fundamental question: Why should I vote for you?
Student Union elections are often reduced to who has the flashiest campaign, but your posters, videos and banners do not make you a good student leader. Your campaign should be about a hell of a lot more than your poster.
The most important thing you can bring into any UNBSU executive position is YOU. Your campaign is your chance to tell the student body who you are and what plans you have! In Student Union politics, the sky, and the administration, are truly the limit. Do you want to install a ski lift that will carry students from Head Hall to the SUB? You can campaign on that!*
I want to draw a clear distinction between plans and promises. My least favourite aspects of any election, including Student Union elections, are promises that have no substance. Some examples of buzzwords that I see every year are “dialogue,” “engagement,” and, my favourite, “communication.” These words sound positive, but they don’t offer ANY clear actions on the part of the (student) politician. If your campaign promises do not include a concrete way to measure them then they aren’t plans, they’re just meaningless platitudes.
So I ask you, what are you going to do to make the university experience better for students?
Best of luck on your campaign and may the best plans win!
*Disclaimer: Do not campaign on things where you are limited by the administration, engineering, and gravity.