Voting opens today for positions at Nottingham Trent University’s Student Union. NTU has over 26,000 students but it is thought only a small number will vote.
Nottingham Trent University will open voting at 5pm for executive positions at its Student Union. There are 19 positions available, including President, Vice President Sports and Vice President Activities.
“It shows how passionate people are and how driven they are to achieve and to run the union for the 26,000 members we have here” Jo Southwell-Sander, NTU President
But, students have criticised the way the elections are run. All the candidates are current students at Nottingham Trent and have been campaigning across the 3 university campuses for the past week. But, some students think it is more of a popularity battle, rather than a vote for the candidates policies. Suzanne Howe, a third year student who studies criminology, said:
“Most people just vote for their mates, or for people who’s name they have heard on campus. It’s less about what you are proposing for the union and more about proving how many friends you have to vote for you.”
Question and Answer sessions have been taking place at the City and Clifton campuses all week. Candidates shared their manifestos with other students and challenged the policies and ideas of their competitors . A live feed of the session was available via You Tube and students could Tweet questions to candidates using the hash tag #trentvotes.
Jo Southwell-Sander, the current president at Nottingham Trent University, said: ‘Q&A sessions are really really important when members are voting for who they want to run their union. It shows how passionate people are and how driven they are to achieve and to run the union for the 26,000 members we have here’.
Elections are held each year at universities across the country. A handful of students will campaign to fill executive jobs at their students union and if voted in, they are put in charge of its day to day running for the next academic year.
The student union is also the representative body for all students currently enrolled at the university.
Jo Southwell-Sander, NTU’s President, believes voting is crucial for students.
However, it is thought that only a small number of those enrolled at the university will actually vote in the elections, something that has questioned their significance.
Cara Staniforth, a third year psychology student, won’t be voting: “I don’t really follow what’s happening with the union and I think if you don’t know someone running for a position, it’s a bit pointless.”
The full time positions which open for voting at 5pm this evening are:
- Vice President Sports
- Vice President Activities
- Vice President Welfare and Communities
- Vice President Education and Representation
- Vice President Services and Communications
There are also some part-time positions.
Successful candidates will work for a year in the union and receive a salary of £17,500. Voting opens tonight at 5pm and will close at 5pm next Friday 21st March. Results will be announced the next day.