Elections From an International Perspective

This week, the Student Union opened Voting for Aber Elections. There are various choices of candidates from different offices – the voting of which is available on Student’s Union website. However, I decided to focus on the role of international students and how they were finding the Aber Elections.

The role of International Student Officer during this year’s elections consist of two hopeful candidates: Karolina Ozarowska and Viola Szucs.

I talked with Viola about elections and different aspects of being international student.

What opportunities do these elections give students?

I think that this is amazing that students can stand for students. It always gives a different perspective if you are studying with representatives. An election is a good opportunity for those who vote as they can choose who will represent them in different scenarios within the university. The resultant candidate is a person who will make your voice heard in the next year so it is important that you know who that person is, what they stand for and what their goals are.

Is there anything to change at the Aberystwyth University?

Nowhere is perfect. There is always something to improve and there are different offices concentrating on different aspects. If you ask anyone who is standing in the elections or anyone who is voting, they will say different things. In my opinion, I would like to see international societies to be there for international students so, when they come, they can immediately feel as a part of the family; not just about drinking but, instead, about coming together and sharing experiences.

Do you think that there is a warm environment for international students in the Aberystwyth University?

I think so, especially because there is a large amount of international students here, you can always find your way around. However, there are difficulties that I don’t think someone who grew up here or who hasn’t lived in a different culture can understand. It can be a language barrier or the weight of the culture or climate difference that can cause unease.

You are a first-year student from Hungary.  What do you think you can bring to the university?

Hungry does not have a big population so there are few people from there here. I feel that, in a good way, it makes me feel like an outsider. Thanks to that, I can empathize with people, and because I am a first-year student I can look at things with a fresh eye. There is much more support in the university environment than in the working environment. But still, you cannot be scared to turn into a teacher, a professor or a personal tutor. When you come to a new environment I think, the knowledge that other students experience the same feelings as you can bring people together and hold together.

Aberystwyth University is also a good place for international lecturers as well…

Yeah, they say that if you live here for seven years, you will be stuck here. I feel that, with the amazing experience this university provides, this could be very true. They want for international students to feel back home and I would love to help with that. Come here and you will have one friend immediately, it will be me!

 The most important question is, how will you encourage people to vote in the election? 

You don’t have to make your friends agree with you, but just bring them along with you to vote. There are stations every day on different areas of the campus. You can also use AppAber. Ask your friend ‘have you voted for someone?’ You can just look up the people together and think which sounds better in all positions. I think there is the biggest amount of people standing this year in the whole of the selections in Aber. If you see an interesting candidate or perhaps see a familiar face, you can ask them about their program. The candidates are set-up in front of the Student Union building during this week so you can meet them.

I really encourage people to vote, because it prepares all of us for life. Soon you will have to vote for your government so why not start now, and became aware of how much your voice matters?

 

Remember that the election window lasts until Friday 16th of April at 3 pm. All information about voting can be found here.

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