Winning university elections under the new law.
Written by Brian Amwai on March 31, 2019
The Universities Act 2016, provides for the election of student leaders through electoral college as opposed to all students participating in the exercise. In the past the popular vote was how elections used to conducted, it was termed chaotic leading to the amended Act which requires student councils to be voted in not by all the students, but by electoral college representatives elected by the students commonly referred to as delegates.
This is however tricky because it doesn’t matter at times the number of students in support of a particular candidate, populism in this case is not a guarantee that one will be the next leader because that decision is solely left for the delegates. Although the delegates are required to choose leaders preferred by the students, this is not always the case as they don’t sit down to decide which one is the most preferred.
So what exactly does one do to win in a university election? well when vying under this system the populist way is useless,you don’t want to run around campaigning and garnering the students support and leaving out the most important fraction which will determine your political fate.
The best way is to know the delegates, familiarize yourself with them, try to convince them why you are the best candidate since they are the once who will decide, know how to approach them and don’t assume all can be bought because that may at times not work in your favour.
Also have your campaign people talk to some of the delegates on your behalf, that way you will cover as much ground as you ought to. How you carry yourself around is also important, act as a leader, be convincing and ensure that you have the students interests at heart. Be in good books with the administration, this helps you especially in the clearance process, a bad record can lead to you not to be cleared to vie.
Also, read the constitution and know exactly what is required of you. Be conversant with every area that is important to the students because only that will you know the issues to address. Make frequent visits to the administration, let them know you are someone they can rely on to contain the students if need arises but make it clear that the students come first and you are open for negotiations, remember as a students leader you are acting as a link between the students and the administration. finally do everything in accordance with the constitution that governs the process.