AUSU will be holding its council elections at the end of February 2018. While that’s still three months away, it’s not too early to begin thinking about running for a seat on council.
The call for nominations will go out in January, and campaigning will begin barely two weeks later. If you’re even considering running for council—or even considering considering running—you’ve got a lot to think about. Here are a few reasons why you might want to start the thinking process now:
Do you or do you not want to run? It’s a basic question but there’s plenty to consider before answering. The earlier you begin mulling over the pros and cons of running, the better informed your decision will be. Start a tally of why you’d like to sit on AUSU council (such as extra money, valuable experience, and the opportunity to effect positive change) versus the drawbacks (such as time commitment, scheduling conflicts, and attention drawn away from other priorities). You’ll also want to inform yourself of what councillors are expected to do and what they get paid. Head over to the AUSU policies page and check out Policy 2.14, Councillor Responsibilities and Honoraria, as well as other policies under the Council Governance section. By the time the call for nominations is announced, you’ll feel confident in your decision.
Plan your campaign. If you’re going to run, you may as well do it in style. Candidates in the election will be expected to produce a short bio, so start thinking about how best to present yourself in under 100 words. Candidates can also submit a campaign poster, which is their opportunity to present their strengths and values to voters. A really polished campaign poster takes time for thoughtful planning, so start imagining it now. If you want to include a photo of you looking your best, the upcoming holiday season may present an opportunity. When you’re perfectly coiffed and attired for an event, have someone take a photo for your campaign poster. In addition to the bio and campaign poster, you might want to explore the possibility of using other platforms for your campaign, such as Youtube, Twitter, or your own candidate Facebook page. (This would be a good time to read Policy 3.01, Election Conduct.) For smooth execution, start planning now what you’ll need to do and when, so that you’re ready when campaigning gets underway in February.
Consider an executive role. The successful candidates for council will vote among themselves to select who will fill the three executive councillor roles. Since the responsibility, time commitment, and remuneration for the executive positions are considerably higher than that of non-executive councillors, you’ll want to consider ahead of time whether to pursue one of these roles. Read Policy 2.15, Executive Accountability and Compensation for details on what the executive positions entail. If, assuming you’re elected to council, you think you might put your name forward for an executive councillor position, you’ll want to read Policy 3.02 Election of Executive Officers for information on how that election is conducted.
Detailed information about the upcoming AUSU council election will be made available early in 2018. A timeline of the election, from Call for Nominations to Council Changeover Meeting is currently available at www.ausu.org/governance/elections/. Once the Call for Nominations goes out, there will be more information available for prospective candidates.
You could wait until the Call for Nominations to start thinking about running for council. But like any other endeavour, the more preparation you put into it, the more satisfying the outcome is likely to be.