The Gown is committed to offering unbiased reports on the Student Leadership Elections 2022; we would encourage all candidates to reach out in the coming weeks.
By Luke Tinsley – Political Editor
On Monday 7th February, at 17:00, nominations will begin. If you have had any issues with the university, want to protect and assist your fellow students in their struggle, provide that much needed clear voice to rise above the cacophony of voices left unheard; this is your chance.
Firstly, before even applying, the question should be, do you have the passion for achieving in the role you nominate for yourself? Since those you’ll be representing will need a passionate leader who wishes to accomplish their function to the highest degree, this will be clear through how you express yourself. Consider this: who is more likely to win? A candidate who only takes a few minutes to complete their nomination, or the student who decides to invest the time working on a manifesto? The student who outlines their goals and what they believe is necessary to try and accomplish in their tenure is more likely to succeed.
A good suggestion is to look to those who have succeeded before you. Take our Students’ Union President Katie Ní Chléire who, with the rest of the student union team on 20th December, were blindsided as we all were by the university’s decision to return to remote learning in January; announced on the BBC news without any consultation. The student officer’s team response came on 21st December, when most people celebrated finished papers and exams waiting for Christmas. However, the student officer team was still working to ensure the voice of students remained intact. Although the student experience had suffered, Katie shot back, “Queen’s needs to step up and: provide rent breaks, put significant mitigations in place for teaching and learning and fund the support services.” This is a clear example of a strong Students’ Union President who can give students hope that their voice is acknowledged and represented in the worst of times. To the student officer team, I say bravo for what you did to support students when you could have enjoyed your Christmas holiday.
As an English student, I decided to contact my school representative, Rachel Hasson, for the School of English concerning how can someone succeed in nominating themselves as a school representative. Rachel eloquently stated, “I think the most important thing to remember is to believe in yourself. Don’t let the fear of someone being more qualified than you put you off. You bring as much value to QUB as anyone else. Being a student leader isn’t about being the best; it’s about working as part of a team to better your student community. No opportunity is too great for you. If you are genuinely passionate about student activism, then that’s all you need.”
“Being a student leader isn’t about being the best; it’s about working as part of a team to better your student community”Rachel Hasson, Rep. for the School of English
If you consider nominating yourself for any role you think suits you, you’ve already begun the first step to success. Remember you will need to be able to work as a team. No one member can represent the whole of the student body; that’s why there are six full-time student officers, ten part-time officers, three faculty representatives and 15 school representatives. You have the opportunity to join this team. Become part of something extraordinary, the first front for if Queen’s university can ever change their ways, maybe you can influence them to support the students entirely rather than leaving some in the dust. Whether that relates to student accommodation, as I mentioned in September of 2021, our lecturers needing support or how we’re back online hopefully only for January and enjoy our classes in February for the remainder of the year.
If nominated in 2022, showing the abilities for teamwork, leadership, and passion with a clear vision of what you wish to achieve for your position, you have placed yourself in a strong position for success. So, when voting occurs on 28th February at 08:00 to ending on 2nd March at 15:00, this is your time. Don’t be afraid to place yourself out there because you never know you may be the following elected individual for your position of which you can create actual change, which is truly a wonderful gift.