Voting in the Students Association elections opened on Friday 29 April. This is where you get to vote for who your student leaders are for the next two years, including your Students Association President, who will be the face of the OU Students Association and OU students. You will also be able to vote for a Deputy President, a number of Vice President roles with different responsibilities, Faculty Reps and Area Reps. Click here to see all of the roles.
Here are five reasons why you should vote in the student elections:
1 Vote to grow the future
This year, the Students Association have created a voter incentivised tree planting initiative. We're asking OU students to help us reach 3000 votes by Wednesday 18 May. Once the 3000-vote target has been reached, voters will be offered the chance to decide where the new tree will be planted on the OU grounds.
A new tree will not only create a lasting legacy in honour of the 2022 elections, it will symbolise the start of new beginnings as well as diversify our grounds by providing access to nature.
2 Elected representatives are responsible for an organisation worth £millions
Student Leaders have an influence over how the money is spent. The Students Association is a multi-million pound organisation, and elected representatives have a say in how that money is spent on services, events, clubs, societies, and staff. That means that you want people that you trust taking on these important roles.
3 Be represented effectively
If you are a member of a protected characteristic group such as disabled students, BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) or LGBTQ+, or if there are issues that you have a particular interest in, you can vote for the candidates who best policy pledges for you. So, voting gives you a much better chance of having your own views represented.
4 Elected reps can make real changes to students’ lives and their university experience
OU students have a unique student experience due to the way the University delivers its courses, and with elected reps making important decisions about how money is spent, they can have a massive impact on your experience as a student with the university. Whether it’s the services, clubs and societies delivered by the Students Association, or lobbying the University for improvements on behalf of students, they can have a big impact -don’t leave it to someone else to decide for you.
5 A higher voter turnout provides elected reps with increased legitimacy when they are discussing issues in public and negotiating with the university
Elected reps bring the student voice to the University’s structures and senior leaders and often beyond, into public policy debates. Therefore, the more voters participate, the more legitimate our student leaders will be. The OU has students in every Parliamentary constituency in the UK, and the more of those students engage and vote in these elections, the more influential our student leaders’ voices will be both within and beyond the university.
Voting in the OU Students Association elections is easy!
It all takes place online, so you can do it from the comfort of your own home. All members of the Students Association will have received an email from Civica telling you how to cast your vote. But remember, voting closes at 5pm on Wednesday 18 May, so make sure you don't miss out on your chance to have a say!
Click here to find out about all of the candidates standing in these elections so that you can decide who to vote for. Also, make sure that you share this article with people on your courses and in your clubs and societies so that we can get the best voter turnout possible.
If you have not receieved an email with a link to the voting platform and believe you should have, please email the elections team at email@example.com
Every vote matters. Your vote can make a difference!