So, it’s that time of year again. Election season is upon us, and everything that comes with it. Slogans, puns and #terrifichashtags. Flash mobs in the Atrium (probably). Hustings that devolve into a giant lip-sync battle (probably not). So… many… flyers… can’t… carry them… all…
And of course, interminable jokes about RON.
Fear not. Brig is here to guide you through what is sure to be a relentlessly bloody campaign. First thing to note is that this year, the “Big 4” positions are all contested – the full-time Sabbatical positions of Union President, VP Communities, VP Education and Sports President. This all makes RON’s life much tougher in his David-against-Goliath quest to finally win something.
It also means there will be healthy competition for your vote. My unnamed source tells me that on the official Facebook group for the candidates, they’re currently all being really nice to each other. This must change, pronto. We need some stories, guys.
Without further ado, let us walk you through this year’s candidates.
Craig Forsyth – #FeelTheFors
- Current Co-Convenor of the Stirling Uni Greens
- Wants better support for and understanding of mental health issues.
- Would try to lower rents on and off campus to deal with “accommodation poverty” and introduce “Landlord Vetting”.
- Would bring in (voluntary) “sensitivity training” for Clubs and Societies.
- Would pressure the Union to lift tax on female sanitary products in Union shops.
- Interesting factoid: Has met UK Green Party leader Natalie Bennett.
Alex Frost – #Frost4President
- Would modernize communication between Union and students by creating a Union snapchat, establishing an online process where students can submit ideas to improve the Uni, and continue work to allow students to vote on GM motions online.
- Strongly believes that Clubs and Societies should be autonomous and able to make all their own financial and other decisions.
- Would create a notice and review board for student accommodation, whereby students can share their experiences with landlords, letting agencies and properties.
- Would look to get more from the NUS.
- Claims to look similar to Martin Clunes (you decide).
Dave Keenan – #KeenForKeenan
- Committed socialist, as well as being highly committed to karaoke.
- Believes that rent should not exceed the lowest band of SAAS and wants to see a decrease in student accommodation costs.
- Would pilot a student foodbank.
- Would raise awareness of mental health issues, particularly for men, encouraging people to open up to friends and people they trust.
- Would lobby the Uni to build a bus shelter at Queen’s Court.
Emma Binns – Binns. One word. One Legend.
- President of the LGBT+ Society.
- Would focus on mental health awareness, healthy eating and bring in a nightline service.
- Would like to see an expansion of the Green and Blue Space, and would bring in clothes swaps and “Donation Binns” *PUN KLAXON*
- Would campaign against lad culture and violence towards women.
Hollie Irvine – #Holls4Comms
- Communities Officer 2015/16
- Would seek to iron out accommodation issues for students, and continue work of #StirTenants in providing a platform for students living in private rented accommodation.
- Wants a “reboot” for non-traditional students – more events for and engagement with post-grads and students from less conventional backgrounds.
- Would focus on improving integration with the local community.
Jessica Logan – Jess We Can
- Wants to improve opportunities for student researchers in all schools.
- Would collaborate with school officers to have more club collaborations to ensure that department-specific club members are improving their employability.
- Would put in place a meat-free Monday in the Union to promote more environmental eating options such as vegetarian and vegan.
- Will ensure smaller societies have better access to Union promotion, such as Society Spotlight.
Matt Adie – Why sweep the problems under the carpet, when you can put it under Matt? *PUN KLAXON*
- Will address the issue of inadequate parking space on campus.
- Would review the condition of seminar rooms.
- Feels there should be more co-ordinated support for Joint Honours students.
- Believes the University should increase the support it gives to students on placement.
Ashley Cameron – Yes We Cam!
- Previously represented non-traditional students on NUS Scotland’s Student Executive Committee
- Would work to widen access for students, by improving accessibility for disabled students and better child-care accessibility and flexibility
- Would launch “the largest series of engagement and consultation events focused on student support.”
- Will raise issues around “exam bunching”, assignment deadlines and summer support.
Jess Morris – #Jessmo4Presmo #Round2
- Running for re-election, as current Sports President. Queen of the hashtag.
- Believes sport and the investment and development of our facilities need to be top of the University’s agenda.
- Will work to improve access for clubs to coaching opportunities.
- Will continue to spread recognition of Stirling sporting success through the #BLEEDGREEN hashtag.
Gregory Mihill – #BleedGreg
- President of the Trampoline and Gymnastics club.
- Would look to improve wider participation in sports for those less interested in competition.
- Would like to improve the provision of kit.
- Will help more students undergo coaching courses and achieve coaching qualifications.
Steven Watson – Watson It For You?
- Has been involved in the Badminton Club committee for the past three years.
- Will work to improve fundraising for clubs by encouraging innovation and holding marketing and financing drop-in sessions.
- Would work to increase the number of volunteer coaches in clubs.
- Will put Stirling at the forefront of disability sport by hosting more events.
So that’s the candidates for the Big 4 spots. Lots of great candidates, with great manifestos. Things might get a little tense. For the full list of candidates and manifestos, you can find them all on the Union website.
The first Hustings will be in the Atrium at 12pm on Tuesday 15th March. There will also be an Alternative Hustings in Venue at 6:30pm on Thursday 17th March (which is where, if it’s ever going to happen, we’ll finally get our lip-sync battle and/or dance-off).
Lastly, don’t forget to cast your vote! Don’t be that person. Vote, dammit. Polls open online at 9am on Monday 21st March and close at roughly 6:15pm on Tuesday 22nd March – in time for the Results Party starting at 7pm in Venue.
Brig will be there with bells on.