Each year, a new JCR Exec is elected who will co-ordinate the college socials, represent views at University level, take responsibility for organising sporting games and much more – for the next 12 months.
There are a variety of reasons why someone might run for an Exec position. It could be to receive an unquenchable lust of power, the chance to wear an Exec T-Shirt, it looks good on the CV or because their friend is running for election and they want to run as well. Of course, those are not the most fetching of reasons to want to become an Exec member.
The perfect candidate will want to be a useful and productive member of Cartmel College, who will want to make positive changes to the college. But how does the perfect candidate seek to become a new Exec member? Below is a short ‘how to guide’ on how to do exactly this.
Attend the General Meeting
The first general meeting offers an important insight into the different positions available. It can help you to decide what to stand for and why you want that post. The meeting will discuss other matters affecting the college at the moment, which it might be worthwhile being knowledgeable about should you become elected.
Keep a look out for information contained within block posters, or emails about the next JCR General Meeting!
Research, research, research!
This shouldn’t be treated the same as academic research (obviously!), but it should involve you getting an idea for what the different roles are about.
The General Meeting – discussed above – is already one point of research, but there are many others. To name a few, there are the individual profiles on this website, and you could also take the opportunity to speaking to existing Exec members.
When deciding which position to run for it is important to work to your strengths. For example, if you love helping people- welfare could be for you. Each position offers different opportunities, so whilst you are researching which position is best suited for you – it always helps to be informed about all the different opportunities available.
Once you’ve decided the position to run for, it is then the time to put thought into action. When nominations open, you can nominate yourself for your chosen position via a website link that will be sent to your university email address.
Plan your campaign
It it likely that you will want your campaign to be memorable and to stand out from the competition if you are to win. As such, you may want to think of an interesting description or catchy slogan to base your campaign around.
You may also want to produce posters, leaflets, flyers and banners to get your message across to the voting population. You may also have other ideas – be creative!
Always remember, however, that you will be given a campaign budget. This is a set amount (usually £10) which you – nor any other candidate – may exceed. You will be given this information. Certain items may not count in your campaign budget however – again, this information will be provided to you.
Write your manifesto
Once you’ve decided the key focus of your campaign – and why you think you should be elected, it is time to crack on and write a manifesto. You will be told the word limit, and you should describe yourself, your objectives and why you should become elected. Don’t forget to include a photo of yourself!
The manifesto will be made available on voting day, for people to read to decide whether to vote for you, or another candidate. As such, try to make it different – but remember to keep it real. Empty promises that you will build a theme park on campus, is not likely to gain support and will suggest that you have your head in the clouds.
The hustings process is where each candidate is required to deliver a short election speech (or “hust”) to an audience of current JCR Exec members and whoever else wishes to attend. This is a great opportunity for you to communicate to people why they should vote for you. The hust will have a time limit which you will be informed of – you do not have to use all of the time, however!
At the end of this speech the audience may ask you questions about anything you have already mentioned, or even things you didn’t talk about! So be prepared to give a good answer back.
The entire process can seem daunting at first, but remember that everyone running for a position on the Exec is in the same situation! Just be yourself, and you should have nothing to worry about.
Run your campaign
Once all the written work is done, it is time to get out there and run your campaign. The campaigning period varies year-by-year, and can be anything from a week and a half, to just 48 hours! It is only during this period which you are allowed to do any campaigning!
Campaigning is typically a task of passing a leaflet to everybody who you catch eye with around Cartmel, putting up posters etc. But as mentioned above – be creative! Your main aim is to get people to remember your name so that they recognize you as they fill in their balot paper.
This is the day when exciting tension falls over the whole university. With all colleges put together there are over 250 people sat in bars across campus waiting to hear the election results.
The votes are counted by members of all outgoing JCR Exec’s, and results will be announced in the bar. This is the moment when there are cheers or commiserations.
If you managed to secure enough votes to win, congratulations! You will be asked to attend a handover meeting with the old Exec, before then being invited to a LUSU organised Winter Officer Conference event during the New Year which will provide relevant training in your position. It is during this event when you’ll get to meet other members of the new Exec, as well as the new Exec of other colleges, and have a lot of fun at the same time.
If you didn’t secure enough votes to win, don’t worry. The JCR Exec elections are one of many ways to get involved in the University community, for example, societies have their own Exec elections too! So there is no reason whatsoever to be angry or upset. Just keep positive and keep trying.
The JCR Chair is responsible for JCR Exec elections and they should be your first point of call for any election questions, concerns or complaints. If you are running for a position, it would bode well to speak to any previous Exec members who held that position for advice.