Sabb Diary: what, who, when, how and why

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You may have seen the banners hap- hazardly hanging out of windows or the assault of colours, flyers, and smiles outside the library. It’s a crazy week filled with an atmosphere un- like any other.

So, we wanted to give you a few pointers that should hopefully an- swer some of the questions you have.

What is going on?

Week seven is the Students’ Association elections week. Our elections, which happen annually in the second semester, are an exciting time.

We have the highest turnout in the United Kingdom for a univer- sity: we’re the only one to break 50 per cent, and we’ve done it for two years in a row. (This year, if we hit the mark, will be our third.)

Students at all levels of the University – from third-year PhDs to first-year undergraduates – are run- ning for one of the 57 positions up for election.

These positions cover all facets of student life: education, charity, accommodation, broadcasting, wellbeing, debates, theatre, and so much more.

Once elected, these 57 of- ficers, including the five full-time sabbatical offic- ers, help organise and improve the student experience.

Who can vote?

All students can vote for nearly all of the positions up for election. The only positions that require you to be a specific kind of student are the school and faculty president elections and the two postgraduate positions – the postgraduate convenor and the Postgraduate Society president.

All other positions, from the SRC member for first years to the SSC external funding officer, are elect- ed from among the entire student population.

Our ballots are intentionally built to give each candidate a brief opportunity to win your support with a 100-word statement (or 250 words for the sabbaticals) describing their ambitions for the year ahead.

When can I vote?

Voting opened at 11 pm on Wednesday 5 March. Voting closes at 6 pm on Friday 7 March.

Students can vote any time during this period, and it takes about 10 minutes for the average student to complete.

How can I vote?

Voting happens entirely online. You can cast your vote by visiting yourunion.net/vote. From there, you log in with your SaintMail details and cast your vote. It’s as easy as that.

There’s two elections going on in the system: the Students’ Association elections, where each student has one vote in each contest, and the school president elections, where each student (including postgraduates) have a credit-weighted vote in the elections they are eligible to vote in. Once you submit your vote, your ballot is cast and cannot be changed.

Why should I vote?

This is possibly the most important part of the story. Voting matters because it allows the officers who will dedicate a year of their lives to have the confidence to pursue the policies they want to achieve.

Student officers elected by a stronger turnout have a stronger position to work with the University on issues that matter the most to students, and to move the groups they lead in the direction they envisioned.

Most importantly, these officers will determine what your experience at St Andrews is like. You may not see them in the headlines, and they may not be seeking credit for each im- provement they achieve, but they still have an impact on your experience.

They help determine how the next halls will be built, what the next study spaces will be, what opportunities students have to volunteer beyond the University, and what support is given to society presidents and com- mittee members.

The endless sea of colours, flyers and smiles are all from students who want to be your voice for the next year. Now it’s your turn to tell them if you want them to represent you.

Make sure to cast your vote at yourunion.net/vote.

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