This years student by election is underway- third year politics, philosophy and economics student Calum Sutherland is running for media officer
Brig spoke to Sutherland about why he decided to run for the position, the challenges posed for candidates running for election during the covid 19 pandemic, and what he hopes to achieve in the role.
Brig: What promoted you to apply for the candidacy and why did you decide to run for the media officer role?
Sutherland replied that he was prompted to run for the media officer role because “we had no candidates last time and I feel that the media office role is incredibly important in order to effectively represent the media societies within the student’s union.”
Reflecting on how his perspective on the union by elections has changed since he started university Calum added that it was something which he was “reluctant to do” before but now he “appreciates the importance of the role more” and wants to “help keep things running smoothly and effectively, which will be to the benefit of everyone.”
Brig: Do you have any prior experience in the student union?
Sutherland: ” I dont have any experience in the students union yet, but I am good friends with two former media officers so I have plenty of support for getting to terms with things.”
Sutherland points to various leadership roles that he has held in other aspects of his life as something which would help him in the role.
“I am also well equipped for the role with leadership experience, whether it be through my work or after being a committee member of Brig,” and is “absolutely confident i can do a fantastic job!”
Brig: How has covid 19 impacted on this by-election in your opinion?
Sutherland admits that the by election ‘certainly isnt going to be exempt” and as a result ” i don’t expect students to be too concerned with the election this time round unfortunately” and predicts a reduced voter turnout because “people cant do it in person”.
Covid 19 has also been a “hurdle” during campaigning with no face to face interaction and “no physical campaign media possible.”
Although Sutherland still encourages students to vote:
“Every student can vote online. Just login to the union website between 9am on Monday and 6:15 on Tuesday and you can vote in seconds.”
Brig: Do you think being the media officer for the student union will help you academically or in your career?
Sutherland replied that he “hadnt even thought about putting it on (my) CV” and is confident that “it wont really affect my studies “adversely.
Instead Sutherland views it as a “good opportunity to become more aware of union initiatives or other things which with my plan to have strong, effective and ongoing communication with the heads of the media societies can be more easily spread among the student population itself.”
Sutherland concluded by saying “Communication is something which is always extremely important and is one of the key things id like to improve. It just makes everything easier for everyone and if we get that right everything becomes much more enjoyable.”
Voting is now open via the student union website here