The Blog

Bristol Student Union Elections: An Insight

I am currently running for election as Bristol's SU Volunteer Chair. In addition to other promotional material, I have produced a pitch open to all students, to see how the election campaign at our university runs and what a candidate may hope to pitch. Here it is:

"Hello everyone - most of you won't know me, but I am Johnny, a second-year Law student, and I am running to be SU Volunteer Chair.

This is because I want Volunteering to be better promoted, better resourced and better rewarded at the SU next year.

I hope to better promote Volunteering through media platforms such as Epigram, the Tab, UBTV and Burst Radio. I hope to ensure that Volunteering is better resourced by working with the SU (which I have experience of, as I will demonstrate). I hope to better reward Volunteers by organizing fun events at the SU for you to build a real sense of community.

My suspicion is that the biggest obstacle to winning the election and making a real difference will be apathy. I have certainly felt, probably like you, that in the past, SU elections are only tangentially impactful on my university experience.

I have certainly felt, probably like you, that in the past, SU elections have affected little change at the university. I have certainly also felt, probably like you, that in the past, SU elections have been for 'other people' to worry about.

Not a specific person, not a specific group, but just 'not me'.

These are the familiar tropes of #ProjectFear, that SU elections are full of brutal, bureaucratic bores crushing the latent optimism and energy of youth that should so electrify student elections.

Call me a dreamer, but I really do believe that I can make a difference at the SU if YOU vote for me as Volunteer Chair.

This year I have worked closely with the Volunteer Chair, Kristin Hoo ("Vote for Johnny, he's an awesome candidate"), on the SU Volunteering Executive Committee. I have been the Committee's Newsletter Editor, responsible for promoting volunteering opportunities. In this role, I have established links with UBTV, set up a blog on the SU website, and written an SU newsletter emailed periodically to students.

With this experience, I have seen what the role entails - and I know I can deliver. Our Committee, which I was active in, linked volunteers with projects, and among our successes have been a food drive and a Christmas party for local schools. I want to expand on this work, running more events, using the contacts I have built up this year to do it.

I also work with Oxfam GB as a Constituency Campaigner, lobbying parliament on issues of inequality and taxation. In this role, I lead volunteers at events, and I hope to establish links with Oxfam GB if elected. Not only this, but as Student Rep for the Bristol PLUS Award, I have experience dealing with SU employees and making positive changes to YOUR university experience, streamlining the award and raising feedback issues.

I appreciate that there are other fantastic candidates for the role. But I truly believe that with this experience and with my drive for the role, there is nobody who can better act as Volunteer Chair in 2016/17. Please do vote for me, if you agree. The link is: "