The UCLU autumn elections have seen a record turnout out of candidates this year.
This election cycle has witnessed the highest number of nominations ever for the position of hall representative as well as a generally large number of candidates for other UCLU positions.
“It is absolutely fantastic to see such a large turnout of candidates for this round of elections”, said Zakariya Mohran, UCLU Sustainability, Engagement & Operations Officer.
This large turnout is reflected in the immense diversity of the candidates. Undergraduates and PhD students, historians and medics, and internationals as well as Brits will be squaring off to win votes.
However, despite these vast differences in the candidates’ backgrounds, many common themes arise in their manifestos.
Several of them make references to fostering a safe environment for minority groups on campus, with one candidate for the position of NUS conference delegate claiming that minorities are currently “under attack”.
This issue comes hot on the heels of the divisive Brexit vote in June, as since then the number of racially charged hate crimes in the UK has increased.
Many candidates’ manifestos also mention reversing funding cuts and providing more support for students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds. This is also a salient issue; the famous Cut The Rent campaign at UCL made national headlines last year.
It appears that the rise in student participation and interest in UCLU this year can be partially explained by these tangible and relevant issues. Mohran seems pleased by this fact. “It is good to see that students are responsive to the issues on campus and are willing to take up a leadership position to solve these problems”.
Voting will begin this Wednesday, October 18.
Featured image credit – Wikimedia