A comment piece from Beatrice Quarshie. The views presented are those of the writer and not those of Label, LSU Media or Loughborough Students’ Union.
One big step for inclusion; one small step for execution.
Since December 2015, the Postgrad EO position has been in dispute: whether it should be a paid sabbatical position or remain a voluntary DO role with issues over funding which saw the first proposal for a Postgrad EO rejected earlier this year. After much deliberation from Loughborough Students’ Union in April, it was decided that there would be a Postgrad EO election for 2016-17 with the elections process beginning at the start of next week.
With VP Postgrad, as it was formerly known, consistently being one of the ‘most highlighted areas targeted, as needing improvement’ stated by VP Union Affairs Max Crawford, why is that the position is a 3-year test? Shouldn’t more effort be put into the success of the role as opposed to the trial basis of three years and then we’ll see outlook?
I asked Max for his response to my thoughts on this;
3 years is more than enough time to put as much effort as possible into the role to make it successful. I agree that it is not the ideal time to do the election, but as we were unsure about funds where the rest of the Exec elections happened and because of the voting rules stated in the Education Act 1994, we had no choice but to do it now. The only other thing we could have done is wait until February of next year but I think the position is too important to put it off.
In recent elections #EE2016 5663 undergraduates voted in comparison to the 342 postgraduate students, is the creation of this new role likely to see a spike in postgraduate engagement with the elections process? Or will it draw an even lower undergraduate voter rate? Will the undergraduates even care? I for one am looking forward to analysing the voter statistics of the upcoming elections.
What’s the rush? The timing of proceedings has been unhelpful at best – something that should be challenged and improved in the coming years – probably as a result of the first proposal being rejected by the university. The first Postgrad Elections seem to be rather poorly timed for all involved. Particularly, as most undergraduates are now embarking on dissertation deadlines and exam revision will there volunteers available to cover the elections and will people have the time to read manifestos about a position that does not directly affect them? Additionally with the Postgraduate calendar operating differently to the undergraduates, the time for nominations is not accommodating.
It is commendable that the Postgraduate Executive Officer will be appointed by a campus-wide ballot this term however, we will just have to wait and see how receptive people are to the upcoming elections.
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