Posters and leaflets are appearing all across the university campuses today ahead of tonight’s EdQT EUSA Election debate.
The debate will bring eighteen candidates for the four Sabbatical Officer positions face-to-face.
This marks the beginning of campaign season for the nearly 200 candidates standing for a EUSA position. Online videos and social media campaigns are already under way.
A crowd of candidates, campaigners and supporters are setting up posters outside Teviot, where FreshAir radio will be hosting the debate. The Student spoke to some of the sabb candidates outside Teviot about the pre-debate atmosphere.
Urte Macikenaite, a fourth-year International Relations student and candidate for the position of Vice-President Services (VPS), said: “I’m very buzzed! I’m a little bit nervous. It’s always a little bit nerve-wracking to get up on a stage and speak in front of a huge crowd of people, but this poster thing is always one of my favourite parts of the campaign. It’s one of the times when everybody sort of comes together and there’s a really big buzz in the air, and it sort of kicks off the week with fun and a bit of excitement. So I’m looking forward to it.”
Third-year Psychology student Chris Edrev, who is running for Vice President Academic Affairs (VPAA), told The Student: “At first I was kind of terrified, honestly, but now I feel very excited. I believe in my policies and I think I have a realistic viewpoint of the situation at university. And I like speaking in front of people, so I think it’s going to be fun.”
Iqbal Fatkhi, a fourth-year Law and IR student, is standing for Vice President Societies and Activities (VPSA). He described himself as “slightly nervous.”
He continued jokingly: “I’ve never really debated in public before – I barely speak English, so I’ll get that sorted. But it’s good, it’s all good! […] I’ve pretty much just been brushing up on my own manifesto – that’s what I’m there to do.”
All three were optimistic about the conduct of the upcoming campaign.
Macikenaite, who is also an outgoing member of the Trustee Board, said: “I am feeling pretty positive, yeah, and all the other candidates I’ve spoken to have been really lovely and really nice. As far as I know, everyone’s been really supportive of each other. So I’m happy about that – no negative campaigning so far.”
Asked whether the mood outside Teviot was competitive or friendly, Edrev replied: “I’d say both. […] Those two things can be combined I think. It’s very competitive but it’s kind of fun – I like it!”
To Fatkhi, it seemed that “mostly people are out to put up their own posters, but there’s no ill will, or people trying to tear each other’s posters down. In fact, I traded posters with some other people and they were happily putting mine up if I put theirs up, so there’s some sort of cooperation going on there.”
Urte Macikenaite will be debating Fraser Graham and Daniel Mullen tonight for the VPS position.
Chris Edrev, meanwhile, faces competition for VPAA from Tara Copeland, Thomas Kerr, Calum Mackie and Imogen Wilson.
Other than Iqbal Fatkhi, the VPSA debate will be held between Shuwanna Aaron, Hannah Baker Millington, Kashish Kacheria, Conor Matchett and Andy Peel.
The position of EUSA President is being contested by Michael Kutner, Faatima Osman, Theo Robertson-Bonds and Jonny Ross-Tatem.
FreshAir Radio will be hosting EdQT at 6pm tonight (Thursday 12th March 2015) in the Teviot Debating Hall.