DSU will be marking the second day of Refreshers Week by beginning its search for next year’s full- and part-time student officers.
Tuesday 19 January is #LeadYourDSU Day, where nominations are opened for students wanting to run in March’s student elections.
Elgan Hughes, Student Voice Manager at DSU, said: "We are calling it #LeadYourDSU as it's about getting people to think of themselves as leaders, and about them realising it's their union.
“Elections are one of the most important things we do in the union. The union is led by students.
“How it is done is that our members – more than 22,000 students – vote on who they want as the student leadership who will represent all student views to the university, hold the university to account and run relevant campaigns.
“The way we ensure that we are relevant is by making sure that we get thousands of students voting in the elections, which we do, and we want over 4,000 students voting this year.”
Next Tuesday is the first day prospective candidates can nominate themselves, but Elgan is also keen to stress that this represents an opportunity for students to go and talk to the Student Voice team and discuss any queries they may have about the roles.
He added: “We are inviting students to come along and start thinking about it.
“It's very much a drop-in kind of day, an opportunity for students to come in and talk to us. All students are welcome.”
Elgan himself was once a student officer at his own students’ union and said that he enjoyed the experience immensely.
He said: "It is one of the most rewarding jobs you can ever do, to lead your students' union and ensure that it's relevant and represents students.
"I was an officer at my university, and what I learnt was just incredible. To work in place that's a charity and does everything for its members is amazing.
“So we look forward to students putting themselves forward to lead the union next year, which is quite exciting.”
Adam Redfern, VP Media and Communications, is currently serving his second term as an executive officer and hopes that prospective nominees will want to take their existing qualities and use them to help run the SU and, in the process, gain some valuable experience that they perhaps wouldn’t get elsewhere, as was the case for him.
He said: “I would encourage students to take the skills they’ve developed and put it towards running the union.
“When I first came to uni I was considering doing a Masters, but I feel this role has given me more experience in other areas than what that could have.”
Adam believes that these roles represent a perfect opportunity for impassioned individuals to help make a difference within the students’ union and the university, as he has endeavoured to do with his ‘Shape Your Future’ campaign amongst other projects.
“I focus my campaigns on employability because I feel it’s important that students come to get their degree but do something that makes them stand out as well,” he said.
“These roles are there for students who are passionate about what they are doing and that want to enforce change for what they are passionate about.
“It’s the perfect platform for that, and the roles are very fun and you meet some interesting people, too.”
You can nominate yourself either by registering online, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting Elgan and Samuel Hilton in the Student Voice office on the first floor of the Campus Centre.
Nominations are open until February 19 and you need to have two people willing to vouch that they believe in what you want to do and achieve during your time in office.
Election polls open on Monday 7 March and close Friday 11 March at 2pm.
Find out more about what’s happening during #ReFreshers16 here.