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Election campaigning has officially begun today with 21 candidates battling for the six positions available on the LUSU Full Time Officer team for 2013-14.
This year LUSU’s constitution and by-laws have been revised, as is required every five years. Changes to some of the FTO roles were passed by a referendum last term and ratified by the University at Joint Committee, a meeting between the University and the Students’ Union. The revised roles are as followes: LUSU President, VP (Activities), VP (Education), VP (Campaigns and Communications), VP (Community and Welfare) and VP (Union Development).
Battling for the position of LUSU President, a role which will focus on overarching issues such as the strategic direction of the Union, are Matthew Jones, Christopher Bell, Adam Harrison Henshall and Joel Pullan.
The role of VP (Activities), which will lead events such as the campus Christmas Markets, Campus Fest and Grad Ball, has attracted the most nominations for an FTO Officer with five candidates running: Emily Pollitt, Ellie Sutherland, Daniel Katri, Catriona Hay and David Nelson.
VP (Education), formerly known as VP (Academic), will incorporate employability and enterprise into the remit, “focusing more attention than ever before on helping students prepare for life after University”, as stated on the LUSU website. The officer will also continue responsibilities in the current remit such as working with departments and their student reps, student-led teaching awards, and national education issues, meaning that they will also be working closely with LUSU Involve. The candidates for this role are Daniel-Sean Huisman, Joe O’Neill and Ellie Lawrence.
A change in the role of this year’s VP (Media and Communication) to VP (Campaigns and Communications) sees the responsibility of SCAN Editor taken out of the role. The role will focus on communicating everything that is going on within the Union, and will also take joint responsibility for elections with the VP (Union Development), as well as being in charge of LUSU’s new Open Source Democracy forum, Your Voice. The two candidates running for this position are Rachel Harvey and Jordan Finneran.
Running for VP (Community and Welfare), formerly known as VP (Equality, Welfare and Diversity), are Tom Fox, Tapi Nxele, Becky Cook and Josie O’Gorman. The new role continues areas such as liberation, equality, welfare, internationalisation, campaigns and advice. However, it will now also include charity, community issues, outreach, housing, global issues and environment and ethics issues.
Candidates for the role of VP (Union Development), formerly known as VP (Events and Democracy) are Sam Hale, Laurence Pullan and Luke Townsend. The role will continue to sit on the Social and Events Group (which works with the college JCR social teams), chair LUSU Executive Committee and will take a lead on training officers. The officer will also be responsible for alumni relations, JCR Executive and Postgraduate Board support, and Union Council, and will be jointly in charge of LUSU’s finances with the President.
Running to become an NUS National Conference Delegate, for which three positions are available, are Sam Hale, Rizwaan Mohammed, Richard Clark, Charles Edwards, Michael Palmer and Laurence Pullan.
Current VP (Events and Democracy) Libby Martin, told SCAN: “These elections are of the upmost importance due to the fact that the students have the opportunity to elect the 6 people who will be leading the Students’ Union for next 12 months. Many don’t realise how much influence these people have and how much the decisions that they make genuinely affect every student on campus.”
“With so many changes already in the pipeline for LUSU next year, including the changes in the roles themselves, it looks to be a very interesting year, one that every single student will have the chance to shape in week 8 when voting opens” she added.
Hustings this year will be held on Sunday Week 8 at Barker House Farm from 1pm, with results being announced on Friday Week 9 at the Sugarhouse.