Elections are an exciting time of the year as students can bring new ideas to light, to be implemented during their term provided they get elected. I would strongly encourage all students to get involved with elections, whether as a candidate or simply by voting.
As well as potentially being one of the union’s main weaknesses, the transition period from one officer to the next is also its main strength. You may or may not have considered becoming a student officer, although you would have probably considered getting a job. You could think of becoming a student officer as getting a job, but instead of the interview you take part in elections. Nominations are now open, and you can find all information regarding elections here: https://www.uea.su/elections/ .
My experience as a UEA student was good, however I was interested in contributing towards further improvements to student experience, specifically around accommodation, food provision and employability. You may also find yourself wondering how it would be if you could personally play a role in improving aspects of student experience at UEA.
What you might not know about the role is that when you become an officer, your role will consist of 4 main parts:
You become a director of union’s subsidiary companies (Student Union Services (East Anglia) Ltd Company Number 1524381; Waterfront Student Union Services Ltd Company Number 2834353)
You become a trustee of the union (https://www.uea.su/union/governance/thetrusteeboard/)
You will become a representative for students at UEA (but will also have an opportunity to take part in meeting other officers around the country to collaborate)
You will be able to work on your portfolio (a combination of your manifesto and your specific role description)
Things I do include:
Attending meetings within the union and the university (a mix of democratic and governance meetings, informal catch-ups and formal inter-institutional meetings)
Meeting current students and supporting their projects
The role is challenging, but with the support from both SU and UEA staff, you will be able to find your feet. You will receive training to enable you to adapt to the role and suit your objectives.
Whether you are hesitating or are certain about taking part in the upcoming election to become the next Postgraduate Education Officer, please do get in touch with me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to find out more about the role or if you have any other questions.
If you know someone who would be great, recommend them via this form: https://www.uea.su/elections/nominateafriend/ and we will get in touch with them. A lot of students just need a bit of encouragement.