Preview: Kent Union’s 2019 Leadership Elections

Kent Union’s 2019 Leadership Elections are set to take place between 21 January and 8 March to decide whom will undertake the sabbatical officer positions in Kent Union during the 2019/2020 academic year.

At 12:00 midnight on the 21 January, nominations for full-time and part-time officer role will open to any and all University of Kent students currently studying, regardless of academic year.

The winners will then be sworn into office at the end of the 2018/19 academic term.

For an explanation to what Kent Union does and who currently runs the institution, read InQuire's guide to Kent Union here.

This year will introduce five new Full-Time Officer positions which was a result of Kent Union’s Democratic Review.

Although these changes were subject to protest by the Kent Graduate Student Association (KGSA), the Union Executive Committee (UEC) voted with a majority to approve the changes back in December 2018.

Aside from the Union President, the new positions which will be open to nominations are as follows:

  • Vice-President for Education is to be become Vice President for Academic Experience. This position will be "representing the undergraduate experience in an academic context … fulfilling the union’s

education strategy".

  • Vice-President for Welfare is to become Vice-President for Welfare and Community. This position will "campaign to defend the rights of and improve the wellbeing of students’ but will now also work to aid in ‘local community-based projects’ and will ‘be responsible for Kent Union’s work on the environment and sustainability'".

  • Vice-President for Activities and Vice-President for Sports are to be merged into a singular role as Vice-President for Student Engagement. This position will combine the previous responsibilities of both positions becoming the "lead Officer for student groups, including sports clubs, societies, community action groups, RaG and student media". They will be working to ‘develop’ co-curricular activities and will ‘work towards engaging’ students with the Union. Additionally, they will be working on ‘employability, alumni engagement and awards’.

  • A new position Vice-President for Postgraduate Experience will be introduced. This position ‘will be providing the postgraduate perspective on issues which impact their student experience’. These include ‘national issues’ such as funding and support, ‘academic issues’ supervision, employability, satellite campuses of solely Postgraduate students, ‘welfare concerns’ such as ‘finance and housing’ and ‘community development’ like events and activities ‘out of term’.

All the details regarding the changes are made in Kent Union’s 2018 Democratic Review here.

The Election Process

The election process will take place over the space of 2 months in several stages.

Firstly, the nomination process will take place between 21 January and 11 February. In this period candidates will apply for positions available this year.

Proceeding that will be Candidate Bootcamp on the week beginning 12 February. This will be available to all the candidates, teaching them about manifesto writing, budgeting and other areas important to running an effective political campaign.

In the following week, between the 16 and the 25 February, candidates will bring together their campaign team and prepare their manifestos, a statement published by the nominees in which they say what their aims and policies are.

Following that will be Online Campaigning Week, 25 February to 1 March, in which candidates will promote their manifestos and aims to the student body across campus and online.

There will be a series of debates held during Online Campaigning Week with candidates going head-to-head in front of a live studio audience. The debates will be streamed live on KTV.

Voting for the student body will open 4 March and will close on the 8 March. Ballots can be casted at the Venue and on the Kent Union website during this period.

The results will be counted, and the winners will be revealed on the evening of March 8 in the Result Night Event at the Venue. Anyone attending will need a student ID.

Interviews with the winning candidates will be conducted following their announcements on March 8. Both CSR and KTV will undertake radio and video interviews with the individual winners just after their position has been obtained.

InQuire will be conducting an interview with each candidate in week commencing Monday 11 March 2019.

For all the best coverage and analysis of Election 2019, stay tuned at www.inquirelive.co.uk and on social media.

Election Schedule

21st January - Nominations open

11th February - Nominations close

12th - 15th February - Candidate Training

25th February - 1st March - Online Campaign Week and Candidate Debates

Tuesday 26th February – VP Academic Experience Debate, 6-9pm, The Pavilion

Wednesday 27th February ­– VP Welfare and Community and VP Student Engagement Debate, 6-9pm, The Social Space, Student Hub, Medway

Friday 29th February – Presidential Debate, 6-9pm, Mungos

4th March - Voting Opens

8th March - Voting Closes & Results Night

For all information regarding the positions, their features and how to apply, please follow the link to Kent Union’s webpage: https://kentunion.co.uk/representation/elections/leadership?fbclid=IwAR33M10LCo8H-QjW7EEbvm5hpA7cSnReZdtTSntmGKfstrfj7T3v7dE7Vas