Elections are exciting and busy times. HISA elections are no exception to that. Elections also serve a few underlying opportunities that are often overlooked. It is these opportunities that the entire HISA team ask every candidate to help support throughout the election process.
Elections are not just a means to an end, but a means to a new beginning
Each year within HISA, 19 officers are elected to advance the student voice, the understanding of what lies behind the views of students, and what issues lay at the heart of students’ concerns. The 19 officers that are elected, are the vehicles with which the HISA student voice is collected, directed and delivered to ensure that the lives of students are improved, along with the strength of their education. The “Circle of Influence” below demonstrates how this works.
How is this a new beginning? Every idea, every understanding of what it means to be a student gets updated and refreshed with a new season of passion from energised candidates, who are ripe with student experience because of their time as students. There are no better people placed to represent the views of students now than those who choose to stand for election. This means YOU!
Enhancing student engagement is the most important aspect of any HISA election.
There are few times within the annual life cycle of a Students’ Association where every student is asked to participate in 1 event. Elections are an example of that, and therefore it is critical to the advancement of the student voice that elections are used as an opportunity to measure student engagement. Candidates are asked therefore to buy into the following mantra:
Even if the person elected is not you, you will want students’ needs, views and issues, to be advanced with greater ease than ever before; and the highest turnout possible ensures that it can have the very best of starts.
3) Compassion and understanding between candidates
Elections are an exciting time, as well as a tense time. Those of you with opponents beyond RON, will feel buzzed to higher levels as you seek to be elected. You may also have a team of supporters putting up posters for you and carrying out other campaigning activities on your behalf.
Sometimes during elections rules are broken. Most cases are minor, and often accidental. If you spot a rule breech by another candidate, ask them about it, let them know. If disagreements between candidates can be resolved themselves, no official action needs to be taken. Other candidates are trying to do the best they can to carry out their campaign to maximise the number of votes; just like you.
Showing respect, compassion and understanding will help lower any tension in the elections. Its also an example treating others as you would like to be treated yourself. Therefore, you can expect if you breech any rules, your opponents will show you the same courtesy.
The election is also your first opportunity to set the atmosphere of what your term in office will be like and to build relationships with the other officers you will be working with, should you be elected. Any of the other candidates competing in concurrent elections, could be a colleague of yours next year.
4) Letter of the rules vs. Spirit of the rules
The letter of the rules (i.e. interpreting the text exactly as written), can be flexible. E.g. You cannot campaign where voting usually takes place. The spirit of this rule is about stopping voters being intimidated when they vote. If you put a poster in the same room as a polling station, but not where a voter at a polling station could see it, you are not going to fall foul of the rules.
Pushing the flexibility in the rules too far, would qualify as breaking the spirit (and letter) of the rules.