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The Pros and Cons of Student Politics

Cartoon election campaign poster

Law students and student politics are inextricably linked. If popular culture and blatant stereotyping are to be regarded as accurate, about seventy percent of those involved in student associations and unions are law students.

Whether you’re thinking about running for Director of Campus Culture on the Union or BBQ Officer for the Law Students’ Society, here are some of the pros and cons of student politics...

The Pros

1. You meet really lovely people. Election week is one of the most traumatic of the year and most students either avoid the main campus thoroughfares or sprint through wearing headphones and taking a fake phone call simultaneously. The ones who actually stop to chat can, however, be really interesting and friendly.

2. Trust me, when you are talking six hours a day for four days, any shyness or fear of strangers disappears.

3. You get so good at talking about issues and policies it won’t be funny anymore. Warning - it’s really hard to turn off.

4. The rest of your team. If you’re as lucky as I was, you will get to know and work with amazing people who inspire you every single meeting with their knowledge, dedication and passion. Student politics is often derided as a “hack-fest”, but in reality many of those involved genuinely care about the issues and the students they want to represent.

5. The other candidates might be completely bitchy or they might be absolutely lovely. If it’s the latter, you’ll have a blast chatting and hanging out and then drinks in the bar afterwards.

6. The AFTER PARTAY!!!! Holy flipping tadpoles it will be amazing.

The Cons

1. While you might get lucky, there is a chance that the other tickets may be horrid. If they decide to tear down your posters, you will be up at the crack of dawn putting more up.

2. You’ll drive your friends crazy by trying to convince them to vote and by posting policy infographics all over Facebook.

3. After six hours of campaigning, you will want to scream at anyone who tells you that they’ve already voted. If everyone who said they had actually done so, the turnout would be amazing.

4. It will break your heart. Not everyone you campaign with will be elected.

5. Not all the ideas you start with will end up being possible.

Student elections can be tough and it can be hard to stay upbeat, but you also meet amazing people. All in all, it’s worth it.

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