So about a couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to witness for the first time, the student elections that took place here at the university. It was quite exciting: manifestos were circling via Facebook, posters of potential candidates were put up all around campus and twitter was full of #surreydecides.
These sort of things always excite me. I love that I have the opportunity to vote and take part. Many students don’t know this, but they do have the opportunity to run for one of the many positions available in the Students Union. I decided to take the election seriously and physically go through all the candidates’ manifestos and try and make an informed decision. I had a couple friends running for a few different positions and when I had time I attended a Question period (basically where all the candidates running for one position are asked various questions which makes an informed vote easier). I was surprised with how professional everything was. There was even a live feed going so people could watch from home if they couldn’t make it to the actual event (kudos to the media crew, they did a fantastic job). It’s really cool to see different types of people with really different perspectives run for the same position. Maybe it’s just me, but I really like to listen to the students running and see what they have to say. I really loved how so many students turned up for the question periods and took an interest in listening to the candidates.
I think, as an international student, it’s important to get involved in a variety of different things. That way, you really feel like you’re a part of something. I applaud all the candidates who took time out of their studies and regular lives to print hundreds of posters, build strong manifestos and answer nerve wracking questions. I have stage fright, so I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like to stand up on stage in front of everyone and prepare a speech.
You can check out what Question Time is and maybe see how things work here: http://www.ussu.co.uk/yourvoice/Pages/Surrey-Decides.aspx. You can still watch the Question periods and find out who won. You never know, it may be important to know who’s heading the 2015/16 Students Union, especially if you’re going to be attending Surrey starting in 15/16!