By Joshua Hugo
It’s that time of year again. The Facebook groups have been formed. The excel spreadsheets of potential BNOC freshers cultivated. The coffee date scheduling commenced. Yes, that’s right, we are just a couple of weeks away from Guild elections.
It’s the annual UWA tradition we love to hate. Every year I loudly bemoan the futility of the process to anybody who will listen. The inflated egos, the self-involved grandeur, the candidates’ abilities to make the race to become the person who attends pointless meetings full-time for minimum wage seem important and interesting: none of it can escape my scathing remarks.
But the truth is: I can’t look away.
It’s a strange addiction, and one that I can’t really explain. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s the only time of the year that I actually feel a sense of kinship towards my fellow UWA students. We are a diverse bunch, but Guild Politics is unique in that we can universally get behind our disdain for it for about two weeks a year.
Or maybe I love the tense, electric energy that builds around campus in the weeks before voting. The sudden loss of my normally quite dull Facebook feed to an array of primary colours with quirky bios attempting to convince me that the policies of any given party are different from the others (they aren’t). The amusing conversations with candidates staunchly assuring me that they aren’t actually Young Liberals (they are). There’s something quite exhilarating about seening a message from someone you haven’t spoken to in three years when they unceremoniously slide into your DMs seeking your vote.
Or maybe it’s the stability of it all. The fact that, although candidates come and go, parties splinter and reform, there are certain immovable features of UWA’s Guild Politics that seem as old as Bob Hawke himself. Take the sea of coloured flyers that plaster every tute room despite the ongoing conversation about environmental impact as one example. Other certainties include the comforting familiarity of being assured lighting will be improved on campus, or that Nandos will finally be appearing at UWA (has anybody actually asked Nandos what they want?).
Then finally the elections come. Carefully choosing your outfit each morning to avoid primary colours at all costs, lest you be mistaken for a candidate (the loss of yellow as an option last year eliminated yet another T-shirt from my Guild elections-friendly wardrobe). The rush of storming down the fast lane with force, declaring “I’ve already voted!” at the top of your lungs. The power you feel as you turn down all the How To Vote Cards on the march to the booth to receive your comically large ballot paper.
Surviving election season is a rite of passage for any UWA student. We find ourselves approaching another one, which is both exciting and upsetting. It can be difficult to navigate, but we at Pelican are going to do our best to guide you through the messy process over the next few weeks. So sit back, relax, and pick out some black and white outfits: you’re going to need them.
Edited by Riley Faulds