Elections for Student Representatives are now open
by Nic George (he/him)
Ballots have officially opened for AUT’s 2023 Student Representative Council (SRC) Election this week.
Current SRC President, Sara Youssef, has highlighted the importance of these roles, and encouraged students to get involved.
“The representatives sit on a variety of different boards that make key decisions that impact students. It is our job to advocate on their behalf to ensure students are taken care of.
We are the bridge between students and AUT.”
Although Youssef is not running in this year’s election, she hopes the future president can continue the current representatives' work on expanding the class rep system and improving how AUT fulfils their Te Tiriti obligations.
Engagement from students in this election has been low in recent years, with only 337 votes cast in the 2022 election.
AUTSA Operations Manager, Susan Taylor, said there are multiple factors at play regarding low voter numbers. She believes one of the leading causes was a lack of candidates, particularly for presidential roles.
She said the number of candidates nominated this year should help improve engagement.
“There are multiple candidates for all three of those roles. So, it's anticipated that there's going to be a lot more visible campaigning for the election.”
Last year, only one of the Vice President roles was up for election for a single-year term. Typically, these roles are filled for two years.
AUTSA General Manager Jo-Hill Ismail shared a similar sentiment regarding engagement levels in different elections.
“It is typically busier in presidential election years.”
Taylor said AUTSA is also improving their ballot collection process, which will make it easier to follow up with students who have not voted.
Another change they are making this year is shifting the date ballots open to before the mid-semester break.
“The idea was to get it in before mid-sem break when folks aren't around or are trying to get some downtime.”
The debate for Presidential and VP candidates will be open for students to attend on September 27th.