The curtain has fallen on the stage of this year’s Kent Union elections, and now we have a brand new team of officers for the academic year 18/19. Looking back the election process, there were indeed pivotal moments of excitement and joy, but also a wave of doubt and disappointment. The election has somehow reminded some students of the Union’s bitter reputation.
Students have been sighing with exasperation, with an array of “meh” heard across campus. Freshers fall into the trap of believing that the Union is relevant – this consequently starts the endless cycle of disappointment, lack of enthusiasm, and finally the “meh” that now embodies the Union.
Despite the electorate’s negative vibe, reports of a protest vote were quickly quashed as one student answered: “that would imply that I cared.” Several students across campus merely laughed when asked for an interview on the subject, and one curiously threw me a signed copy of Zayn Malik’s album ‘Mind of Mine’.
Kent Union saw fit to ask candidates running in the election some hard-hitting questions like, and I’m not kidding:
“What type of cheese would you be, and why?”
Notable responses included:
“What’s the point?”
“You gouda brie kidding me.”
“If this is what the Union really does as a job, I’m in”.
The next question was: “How stupid was the previous question?” to which one candidate responded “I camembert to answer.” Other responses aren’t polite enough to put in this article.
Whilst Kent Union has attempted to ensile some integrity in the elections, it is not the only union to be suffering with “meh” syndrome. For example, upon hearing the news that their union’s election was soon, London students at Queen Mary whipped out their phones to avoid conversations on the matter, and those studying at another Northern university were reported to be visibly miserable.
With the Union elections looming, it seems that enthusiasm for the event has wavered over recent years, and turnout concurs. The Union has seen little support lately despite having engaged with the 2018 lecturer strikes, and having been, in my opinion, particularly forthcoming about recent sabbatical officer departures.
As a result, we can only hope that students participate in future elections, and that some form of democratic mandate is established.
Or not, I’m not sure if I care either.