The Student Union Council Election – your opportunity as a student to influence your university
Blog — 24.10.2023
Banners and candidate posters decorate both campuses and posts on various social media tell us of what is to come: the Student Union Council Elections are approaching, and I hope no one has missed it!
During my second year of studies, I was contacted by an older student from the same study programme, and was asked if I was interested in running for the Student Union Council Election. At the time I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I signed up after all with the idea that at best it would be a good experience and at worst a funny story for the future. The whole thing resulted in a substitute seat in the Student Union Council.
Since then, I have gone from a substitute to regular member and am now also a member of the Student Union Council Election Committee, which gives me the honor of being involved in organizing the Council Election this year. Thanks to these experiences, I can finally say that I understand what the Student Union Council is and why it is important. Better late than never, you might say.
When I talk to my friends, I notice that they have just as good a knowledge as I did two years ago. Unfortunately, most students do not have a good knowledge of what the Student Union Council is and what their vote means practically. That’s why I thought I’d quickly go over what the Student Union Council Election is and why it’s important to vote.
What is the Student Union Council Election?
The Student Union Council Election is organized every two years. The Student Union Council is the highest decision-making body within the Student Union and can make decisions about, for example, guidelines and budget, as well as annually appointing an Executive Board and monitoring its work.
Why should I vote?
”If you don’t vote, you shouldn’t complain” is a phrase that, despite its negative tone, is very true. By voting in the Student Union Council Election, you have the opportunity to vote for a candidate that works for the things you think are important. This might relate to improve study rooms, extend the length of the lunch break or work for a greener Student Union.
Unfortunately, the voting percentage has often been low in the Student Union Council Election. The record for voter turnout was set in 2017 when 32.04 % of the Student Union members voted. In 2021, only 21.35 % voted. This means that merely a fifth of those entitled to vote made the decision for the rest of the Student Union members. Coronavirus can be partly seen as the culprit in the drama, but this does not change the fact that the record meant that only a third of those eligible to vote voted.
The dream would of course be that more than 50 % would vote in the Student Union Council Election in the future, but maybe we could reach 30 % this year?
Use your vote in the Student Union Council Election to promote what you think is important!
– Tanja Holmlund
The Student Union Council Election Committee