Here we go again

Keith is kind enough to suggest that my musings on the Melbourne University Student Union disaster are in some way authoritative, but the truth is, if he's right, the level of student awareness has gotten rather dire. My research for this post consisted of stepping on an already well-trodden pamphlet as I strolled to the library, taking another five paces, pausing contemplatively and somewhat melodramatically, then wandering back and picking up the attractive brochure.

It *is* an attractive brochure, in chalky blue with the alluring call to "Change the course of student representation on campus." Well, you don't need to ask me twice.

Perhaps you've read it, or the similar email a week or so ago, but I'll give an executive summary in any case.

  • Elections will be held later this month for positions on the board of MUSUL, and a "Student Representation Working Group".
  • There are three positions available on the board (with at least one a postgraduate), and 21 positions in the group (15 undergrads and six postgrads).
  • Nominations close 5pm this Thursday 8 April.
  • The elections will run from Tuesday 27 April to Monday 3 May.
  • Voters will cast their ballot on-line.
  • For your reference, a link to the Special Rules relating to the elections.

In order to vote, eligible students will need to have a "Voting Access Number", or "VAN", which will be sent to them via email at an unspecified time.

I'm rather more interested in what you think than what I think about this, so feel free to sketch out your thoughts with your best rhetorical flair in the comments.

Are these elections significant, or has the political potency of the studentry been so neutered in the last few months as to render this a bit of a sham? What impact does the fact that the elections are online have on campaigning and electoral scrutiny? Will these elections divide over familiar partisan geography, or will it be more individualistic and apolitical? Are you nominating, or intending to nominate? If so, on any platform? If you are not nominating on principle, why? If you don't care, why?

I'm considering offering candidates of any political persuasion* a page on m-b.o to explain their platform if they want it. Let me know if you're running and would find this useful—you would control the content of the page (with limited assistance from me if required), and I would link it from here.

* Except purveyors of hate, where "hate" is defined narrowly and according to common sense.

Joseph | 4 Apr 2004

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