It is October and that means a couple of things. One: the jacarandas are blooming and I miss campus more than ever. Two: exams are approaching, assignments are due, and my sanity is slowing slipping. Three: Halloween is coming and I don’t need sanity for that. And four: it is election season. You will notice the SRC election supplement in this edition of PDBY. This is a yearly supplement we include in an edition so that you can meet your candidates and get to know the people you will be voting for in a few weeks.
Unfortunately, this is a digital version of a usually printed supplement that is ends up scattered in every lecture hall, until everyone is sick to death of seeing SRC candidates’ faces everywhere. While we seem to be bombarded with their campaigns on campus, and wish the voting would finally begin, I think those posters and manifestos serve an important purpose. We need to know what candidates intend on doing, how they hope to achieve this, and what purpose they serve to the larger student body. An SRC member should never be only a figurehead, or a name on a website. They should be active students who can make real differences for the student body, and be the voice students need to reach the university executive and higher-ups.
So many students I speak to don’t give any attention to the SRC and are not interested in their actions – even when the SRC is promising things that would affect many students. We can’t be apathetic to the SRC, because they become some random people in fancy blazers, and what would the point be of that?
The SRC receives a very large budget, has extensive support from the DSA and UP, and is in a position of power on campus – this should make all of us take note and ask what the SRC can do for each of us as students. I think the danger for lack of accountability, transparency and failure of duties comes about when we are apathetic, and don’t hold the SRC to their promises and responsibilities as a collective.
“An SRC member should never be only a figurehead, or a name on a website.“
So this year,
where it’s much easier to avoid SRC campaigning and dodge the influx of posters, we should actively seek this information out. It is exceptionally important to know what candidates are promising, what they aim to achieve, and what they identify as important to students. You may think the SRC has no influence on your life – but this is a problem in itself.
The SRC’s actions should have material consequences, or they’re acting on the wrong things. And they can only act on the right things if we know what they intend to do with their respective portfolios, and share our opinions on these goals. This will empower us during their actual term, so that we, as the students they represent, can call them to task if or when they don’t deliver.
We should be sick of seeing the SRC everywhere, because it means they are doing their jobs and engaging actively with students and student related affairs. So before elections at the end of October, seek out the SRC candidates. Engage with their promises and campaigns, attend the Zoom manifesto sessions, peruse the ClickUP module, and know what to hold the new portfolios to next year.
Don’t let your SRC be an idea that seems distant and irrelevant; be involved and ensure you shape an SRC that serves you as a student, and represents you to the university.