When talking about voting, there always seems to be a need to justify why people should vote. It seems, that in many ways we take the opportunity to vote too lightly. We seem to have forgotten the historical significance of having a say through our votes. It seems that we need to re-adjust the way in which we interpret the power of our votes.
The UCSA Student Executive is an example whereby students can easily have their say on who they want to represent them during their time at UC. This, to some people doesn’t actually matter, there are many myths and rumours that float throughout the campus as to the UCSA’s inability to do this, or inability to do that. For everyone who has experienced dissatisfaction with the workings of the student body, especially in the realm of postgrads, now have an avenue through which to generate the change that they would like to see. Not only have the UCSA created a specific position on the Exec for a postgraduate representative, but they have also put a large amount of time and effort into creating positive changes within this space as well.
As the inaugural (must be a PG student), UCSA Postgraduate Representative, it has been a privilege to attempt to begin this process of change, to make postgraduate concerns more visible and to advocate for them on a daily basis. However, this is only a start and we need those who feel strongly about making a difference within this space to continue the work.
This is where your vote becomes important, because if you show a motivation to vote, then you show that you care about your experience on campus. And if you care then you should definitely consider running for the post. Maybe not this year, but next year or the year after. We are all busy people, but if we want to generate that positive change that we often speak of to our friends, then sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zone and embody that change.
The position gives the candidate the opportunity to advocate for postgraduate students around campus through the UCSA and also at the highest level with UC through the Research and the Postgraduate Committees. The expectations are that the candidate will attend the committee meetings, approximately 3 a month. Further to this, you are the voice for UC postgraduate students and will be integral to continuing the regular communication streams that have started this year, like this blog. The PG Rep also has the opportunity to development and implement projects and initiatives that they think will add value to the postgrad community. While this sounds like a lot, only 10 hours a week is expected and you receive remuneration for this.
If this sounds like you, and you have a desire to embody the change that you would like to see on campus then take the leap and run for the post in the next election. For everyone else please remember to vote, encourage all your friends and office mates to vote. It is one of the most important aspects of living in a democracy and we would not want to waste this right.
Written by Thomas Gillman, UCSA Postgrad Rep