Editors note- the original version of this article explicitly stated that certain candidates had been given ‘formal’ warnings by Mary, the returning officer. While we still stand by the sentiment of this article, the allegations we published were misrepresented. We apologise for the error.
Pelican has heard accounts from both those involved in elections and the general student body of negative experiences voting this year. Indeed, both sides have received warnings across the course of this week. Some people have felt intimidated and uncomfortable, while others were brought to tears by their experience. Both sides are guilty of it and it would be disingenuous to pretend otherwise.
We all understand that Guild elections are a tense and stressful time, but this is ridiculous. For people that say they want to engage students with the Guild and care about mental health on campus, this is a disappointing sign that the election hysteria has taken priority.
There’s a good way and a bad way to go about campaigning and this is certainly the latter. Voter turnout is clearly down this year and both sides seem desperate to pull some votes their way in the eleventh hour.
Newsflash – the aggression and disregard for other students’ wellbeing that has been on display at the booths is precisely what has driven voters away.
We all need to be so much better here. Behaviour at the booths can’t continue like this, but neither can people’s experiences be used as a partisan stick to beat the other side with.
Cormac Power & Joshua Cahill