E is for ‘election’, but will it also stand for ‘excitement’ or- shock horror- ‘enthusiasm’? The YUSU elections are coming up, but no-one seems to know much about them, and what’s more, no-one really seems to care.
Personally I’m quite excited about them, my interest fed by snippets of election gossip gleaned from the Nouse news team, but I can’t help be a little bit sceptical, and wonder if my first foray into university democracy may be tainted with the sense of student apathy which seems to define our generation.
Aside from the cutesy Sesame Street graphics on the YUSU website and sporadically dotted across campus, I haven’t really seen much indicating that the face of university politics as we know it is about to change. Part of the reason for the apparent lack of interest is a lack of knowledge about the election process. For us first years, the familiar faces of Tim and Co. represent YUSU as we know it; the idea of change has probably has yet to kick in. Second and third year students see the administration that they voted in coming to an end, and a new political bloodbath begin.
I haven’t really seen much indicating that the face of University politics is about to change
Now, to be quite honest, my ideal election, with bitching, backstabbing and drama galore, is based almost entirely on the film ‘Election’. It stars Reese Witherspoon as the ambitious Tracy Flick, and Matthew Broderick as the meddling teacher who creates competition in persuading jock Paul to run against Tracy, in turn prompting Paul’s sister Tammy to campaign against him as payback for him stealing her girlfriend. Conspiracy, corruption and campaigning; I can’t wait for the elections to get started. The question is, whether my Hollywood-fuelled imagination actually bears any resemblance to reality. So far, it doesn’t seem so. But it’s still early days; nominations don’t close until next Friday, with plenty of time for last minute entries and probably a scandal or two.
Do I really want life to imitate art though? In many ways, yes: I think we should be getting way more into the elections than seems to be happening. These people are going to be representing us and our views, and hopefully doing everything in their power to ensure that our experience at the University of York is the best it can be. Every student should be contributing; we should actually try to care, support the candidates and go to hustings. If you deliberately refuse to have any input into who gets elected, then as far as I’m concerned you have no right to moan about it. Student angst can be offset by student participation; don’t just vote for your friends, go along and see what it’s all about. Apathy is boring, consigned to last year; remember that ‘E’ also stands for ‘exceptional’.