Student Union Elections 2018 / Project Open Door [Part 2] – Candidates’ Question Time

So, this is the sequel that I mentioned in Part 1 of Project Open Door yesterday.

Candidates’ Question Time is where all the people running get to make their manifestos and plans known to everyone who turns up (there was probably about 80 people there, excluding any candidates) in order to try to get more votes.

Each role has its own separate time-slot for candidates to give their manifestos and answer questions, so that does mean that not every question “from the floor” will get asked, but they do try to get as many done as possible!

Every section is headed by a Chair (this year, it was one of the lecturers from the Department of Politics) so that everybody – candidates and audience – follow the rules laid out at the beginning. Essentially, don’t be a heckler and direct your question to the entire panel.

During each specific timeslot, all candidates present are given 45 seconds to talk about their plans should they get the position. They are timed throughout their speech and get told once their time is up – this is just to make sure that all candidates get time to talk and none get an “unfair advantage”. Any candidates who can’t make it to the event are given a chance to submit a statement, which is then read out by a member of staff.

Due to the nature of the proceedings – as well as common logic – questions asked can only be answered by those who are there, with the same 45-second rule. It’s all a matter of staying as fair to all candidates as possible.

OK, so as a “professional reporter”, I have to stay neutral towards all candidates. That means I won’t endorse or denounce anyone running – the very fact they’re running is amazing enough. That being said, I feel like I have to mention some of my favourite moments – whether from the candidates or the audience, the specific part being in bold – from the event. All quotes have the relevant candidate, along with what position they’re running for. So, here we go! (I have tried to be as faithful to the original quotes as possible, however some errors may occur.)

“Why am I called Dan B on all the posters? Because none of you know how to pronounce my last name properly!” – Dan Bocharnikov, VP Activities

[in response to someone asking if there should also be a part-time Men’s Officer] My short answer? No. *lots of cheers from the audience* – Kate Vickers, Women’s Officer

[More to be added later – I have to listen back on 2 hours of recordings, and I’m only 1 person!]

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