By Maddi Broad

 

We’re about to begin the week of physical polling at UWA – everyone’s favourite week of the year (ha)! If you’re a new student, are planning on voting for the first time this year, or just need a refresher on what to expect – the Pelican elections team has got you covered on what to expect. Read on for your guide to how this year’s elections will work in terms of voting.

 

To begin, it’s important to note that voting is NOT compulsory.

 

 

What is the Guild and why does it matter?  

Before we get into the fun stuff, let’s quickly talk about what the Guild actually is. As the student representative body on campus, the Guild is there to make sure you have “the best university experience possible”, meaning they run activities, support services, and events alongside giving students a voice.

 

The Guild is responsible for delivering activities like O-Day, Club Carnivals, services like Student Assist, as well as events more specific to each of the thirteen departments. These thirteen departments are:

 

  • Education Council
  • Public Affairs Council
  • Societies Council
  • Environment
  • Access
  • Ethnocultural
  • International Students’
  • Residential Students’
  • Sports
  • Pride
  • Western Australian Student Aboriginal Corporation
  • Women’s
  • Welfare

 

You are voting to elect official Office Bearers (OBs) and Ordinary Guild Councillors (OGCs) for 2022, as well as the National Union of Students representatives for the NUS National Conference.

 

Still unsure as to what that actually means?

 

Your OBs are officers representing certain Guild departments, or holding executive positions (e.g. General Secretary). Alongside other roles, OGCs attend Council meetings and help make decisions that affect the Guild. Finally, the NUS is the national equivalent of the UWA Student Guild, making decisions for universities across Australia.

 

 

How will the election run?

 

Physical voting this year will run from the 20th – 23rd of September, at the following locations around UWA:

  • Oak Lawn
  • Reid Lawn
  • Nedlands Café
  • Business School
  • FJ Clarke Lecture Theatre at Q.EII Medical Centre
  • Oral Health Centre of WA (Medical-Dental Library)

 

The elections are run by the Western Australian Electoral Commission (WAEC) and governed by the UWA Guild Election Regulations, NUS Rules and Senate Standing Orders (when applicable).

 

When can I vote?

If you’re voting on campus you can do so at any of the following locations:

 

Monday 20 September

10am – 5pm: Oak Lawn.

10am – 5pm: Reid Library Lawn.

11am – 3pm: Nedlands Café.

 

Tuesday 21 September 2021

10am – 5pm: Oak Lawn.

10am – 5pm: Reid Library Lawn.

11am – 3pm: Business School.

 

Wednesday 22 September 2021

10am – 5pm: Oak Lawn.

10am – 5pm: Reid Library Lawn.

11am – 3pm: Q.E. II Medical Centre (FJ Clarke Lecture Theatre foyer).

 

Thursday 23 September 2021

10am – 5pm: Oak Lawn.

10am – 5pm: Reid Library Lawn.

11am – 3pm: Medical-Dental Library.

 

If you applied for a postal vote (the deadline is now closed), don’t forget that all postal votes must be received by 5pm Thursday 23 September.

 

 

Other information you need to know

We’re getting there (I promise). In terms of actually voting, you need to place a number 1 in the square of the candidate of your choice for each position. From there, you can preferentially number any, all, or none of the remaining candidates. Given we have 277 candidates for OGC this year, numbering them all can be quite tedious – unless, like me, you use this as a procrastination opportunity. For the counting of votes, a proportional representation system is used.

 

No-campaigning Lunch Breaks and Fast Lanes

Throughout this week, there will be a campaigning break for lunch from 12-1pm. You can still vote, but there will be no candidates there campaigning – this gives them a break as well! At all times, candidates are not allowed to campaign within the library, or within 5m of the Polling Places. This means you have a ‘fast lane’, where you can walk up to the polling booth to avoid being approached and canvassed, or walk on past the campaigning candidates on your way to class without having to engage if you don’t want to.

 

Booth Bans

Given how intense campaigning can get, candidates can also receive a ‘booth ban’ if there is any misconduct or breach of regulations (e.g. if a candidate breaks the lunchtime blackout, or crosses the fast lane). If this occurs, Mary Petrou (the Returning Officer) can ban them from campaigning for a period of time at her discretion. The ban applies to both the candidate who has breached regulations and the Presidential candidate – with Mary even having the power to ban a whole ticket!

 

The Referendum

This year, alongside your ballot there will be a Yes/No referendum question, asking if you oppose the $40 million restructuring and cuts at UWA. This vote will be used to gauge student opposition to the cuts and to potentially provide weight to the campaign against them. Even if you don’t normally vote, consider voting in the referendum before avoiding polling places this week.

 

So, there you have it. Hopefully you now understand the basics of Guild Elections, and can go do some investigative Facebook research before casting your vote this week.

Make sure to keep your eyes out for all of Pelican’s election coverage, and don’t forget to avoid wearing block colours on campus this week!

For any more information, head to the UWA Student Guild website, and if you have any specific election questions, email [email protected].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Pelican Magazine

Pelican is one of the oldest student publications in Australia and the only independent paper at UWA. If you enjoy writing, then Pelican is the place for you! We print six themed issues a year, and run a stream of online content.

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