Like all good universities, Edge Hill University has a Students’ Union, they even have offices upstairs in The Hub. The Students’ Union team is comprised of the president and three Vice-Presidents, one for Activities, one for Welfare, and one for Academic Representation, and are 18k salary positions. There are also six Support Officers: BME Officer, Disabled Officer, International Officer, Post-Grad Officer, Mature and Part-Time Officer, Women’s Officer, LGBQ+ Officer, Trans and Non-Binary Officer. Whilst the President and VPs are full-time jobs, the Support are part-time.
Voting took place online but could be accessed at various polling stations on Edge Hill campus throughout the week. This year, voting took place from Monday 5th to Friday 9th. Students could submit their manifestos for the positions a few weeks prior to the voting and could start campaigning a few days before voting began and throughout the voting week. The voting system uses a single-transferable vote procedure, meaning that you rank the candidates in each category, then if your most preferred candidate doesn’t receive the most number of “first” votes, they are knocked out, and your “second” vote counts to another candidate, etc. Personally, I prefer this system to the first-past-the-post system used to elect MPs to Westminster, as it eliminates fears of a “wasted vote” that arise when there are two ‘main’ parties running. This year, students who voted were also entered into a prize draw to win an Apple Watch – yet another incentive to vote.
This year, I actually ran for one of the support officer positions, the Trans and Non-Binary Officer. The Trans and Non-Binary Officer position is fairly new. In the past, there was just the LGBT Officer position, but now one has become two positions – as seen in the list above: LGBQ+ and Trans and Non-Binary. This allows a lot more focus to be applied to both positions, one focusing primarily on sexuality and the homophobia, biphobia, acephobia, etc. that might affect students; the other focused on gender and the transphobia that might affect either some of those same students or others students entirely.