Now the dust has started to settle following De Montfort Students’ Union’s annual elections, we can take a little time to reflect on what was a whirlwind couple of weeks.
This year saw a record amount of voters turn out in force to have their say on who they wanted to see running their students’ union, while more candidates than ever before ran in the elections.
A huge total of 4,945 students had voted by the time the polls had closed, equating to 20.3% of the student body, a rise of 1,999 votes from last year, and a 3.5% increase.
And, in other words, one of every five students at De Montfort University.
Sam Hilton, Student Voice Coordinator at DSU, said: “It was a great success and we beat all our targets.
“One in five students voted, which is really important for us. It’s quite cool that you can look across at any group of students on campus and think that it’s almost certain that someone in that group voted.”
The elections saw an increase of 15 candidates this year, up to 42 from the 27 students that ran in 2015, and helped to create a real interest around campus.
Sam said: “There was a real buzz and I think having a record-breaking number of candidates was really cool.
“The reason for the increased voter turnout, at the end of the day, is the candidates. There were people outside the front of the library at seven in the morning and still there until seven or later at night.
“I’m proud of them, and it was a pleasure to get to know a lot of them. They all worked really hard and gained brilliant skills from it because campaigning is a really hard thing to do.”
Sam also praised the hard work being undertaken by students’ union staff throughout the year, helping to increase engagement with students and opening them up to the possibility of working in a student representative role.
“In terms of the candidates, we know that the more involvement that people have before with the students’ union, the more likely they are to get involved, so it’s great work by our marketing team through their communications, plus the Student Voice team has been doing a lot of additional things like scrutiny panels and post-graduate steering groups,” he continued.
“So there’s all that hard work throughout the year, starting with Freshers’, if not before.”
The newly-elected officers start their roles in June, though Sam said that they will already be starting to think about their manifesto commitments and how they can be implemented.
He also had the following message: “For the incoming officers, I’d probably say that you’ll never have another job like it.
“At a relatively young age, to be thrown into such a leadership position is a real privilege, and will really benefit you in your future careers.
“And for the outgoing officers, I just want to say good luck and thank you for all of your hard work.”
Missed the #LeadYourDSU elections announcement? Meet the new team here and watch the results show in full here courtesy of Demon Media.