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RUSU President comments of the oncoming 2017 RUSU elections…

Elections in three words are, manic, amazing, and emotional.

Running a campaign is such a good experience: planning, getting a team together, and actually getting your teeth into it. It’s like nothing you will have done before. If you are planning on nominating yourself, then my advice would be make sure you wear a good pair of shoes during voting week, as you will do so much walking. Next, eat and drink lots, as you will also be doing lots of talking, all day and sometimes even late into the night. Next, make sure you sleep. It might sound obvious, but trust me, you will need it.

So, to summarise: plan well, sleep well, eat well, drink well, and, most importantly, enjoy it. Whether you are a candidate or just voting, get involved and have some fun.

There is loads going on, so make sure you don’t miss out: here are a few things I want to highlight.

Full-Time Officer Candidates Question Time:

Friday 17th February 6pm Café Mondial, RUSU. Question Time gives students an opportunity to come along and ask questions about candidates’ aims and ideas and find out more about them before the voting period.

Voting Period:

Voting opens Monday 20th Feb and closes Friday 24th. Whether you are running or just voting, make sure you get involved and make this year’s election the biggest ever!

So the real question is, what can you run and vote for? Here is a quick guide to all the roles that are up for grabs….

President (Full-time):

The President is responsible for ensuring all decisions reached by RUSU have gone through the democratic process as laid out in the Constitution and Bye-Laws. The President is also responsible for leading on external affairs, liaising with the National Union of Students (NUS), and will lead on RUSU’s democracy initiatives such as Change It and Student Voice. The president is also the Chair of the Board of Trustees that governs RUSU.

Education Officer (Full-time):

The Education Officer will work closely with the Advice and Representation department to coordinate academic representation as well as leading on academic campaigns and events. The main aim of the Education Officer is to improve academic experience and maintain strong working relationships with relevant University staff and Academic Reps.

Diversity Officer (Full-time):

The Diversity Officer is responsible for the development of inclusion and diversity initiatives, as well as taking the lead on liberation campaigns. The Diversity Officer will support the Part-Time Officers and help to promote and oversee the campaigns they run.

Activities Officer (Full-time):

The Activities Officer is responsible for the management and development of RAG (Raising and Giving), Student Media, and all RUSU sports clubs, societies, and volunteering initiatives.

Welfare Officer (Full-time):

The Welfare Officer is responsible for the development and management of welfare initiatives, as well as taking the lead on welfare campaigns. The Welfare Officer will also liaise with the RUSU Advice Service, supporting and helping to promote their services.

Postgraduate Research Students’ Officer (Part-time):

The Postgraduate Research Students’ Part-Time Officer works to represent the views and interests of all postgraduate research students registered at the University of Reading, within the Students’ Union, the University and at the NUS Postgraduate Students’ Conference.

Disabled Students’ Officer (Part-time):

The Disabled Students’ Part-Time Officer works to defend and extend the rights of disabled students within the Union and the University. They campaign for the equality of all disabled students.

Women’s Officer (Part-time):

RUSU’s Women’s Part-Time Officer works to defend and extend the rights of women within the Union and the University. They campaign for the equality of all women.

BME Students’ Officer (Part-time):

The Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BME) Students’ Part-Time Officer works to defend and extend the rights of BME students within the Union and the University. They campaign for the equality of all BME students.

LGBT+ Students’ Officer (Part-time):

The LGBT+ Part-time Officer works to defend and extend the rights of LGBT+ students within the Union and the University. They campaign for the equality of all LGBT+ students.

International Students’ Officer (Part-time):

The International Students’ Part-Time Officer works to represent the views and interests of international students within the Union. They act as a key point of contact for international students within the Union and provide information or signpost where necessary.

Undergraduate Mature Students’ Officer (Part-time):

The Undergraduate Mature Students’ Part-Time Officer works to represent the views and interests of undergraduate mature students within the Union. They act as a key point of contact for undergraduate mature students within the Union and provide information or signpost where necessary.

Environment & Ethics Officer (Part-time):

The Environment and Ethics Part-Time Officer exists to lead campaigning and awareness raising activities in relation to environmental and ethical issues on campus and beyond.

London Road Students’ Officer (Part-time):

The London Road Students’ Part-Time Officer works to represent the views and interests of London Road students within the Union and the University. They act as a key point of contact for London Road students within the Union and provide information or signpost where necessary.

Student Trustees:

Student Trustees ensure Reading University Student Union (RUSU) is well governed, well managed and that we stick to our vision, mission, and values. Student Trustees are super important because they have responsibility for ensuring that RUSU’s charitable outcomes and strategy benefit all students at Reading.

Undergraduate School Rep:

Undergraduate School Reps represent the student voice on academic matters within each school. They support and lead a team of Undergraduate Course Reps with each school. School Reps work to ensure the student voice is being heard by the University and positive changes are being made throughout every school.

Who is RON?

Now for a quick clarification on the one thing that will appear in each election, the one and only RON:

RON stands for re-open nominations. When voting, RON will also appear as a candidate. You can choose RON as a preference if you feel that none of or the remaining candidates are not suitable for the position.

A first preference vote for RON is a request to restart the election process for this election, rather than electing someone in this election.

Elections are a great time of year. Campus is buzzing, and there is so much going on. Running a campaign is such a rewarding experience: you meet so many new people during elections and it is like no other week on the university calendar. RUSU is aiming to get more nominations and voter turnout than ever before. I really hope you enjoy the voting week. Everything from the brilliant elections special Wednesday Union, right the way through to the seemingly never ending posters across campus. If you have any further questions about elections, please feel free to come see me in RUSU or email president@rusu.co.uk. I am really excited to be running the elections this year and for once… not running in them!

About Ben Cooper

b.cooper@student.reading.ac.uk'

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