Participation prerequisite

James Porteous

Following Guardian’s coverage of campus elections last year, in which the apparent apathy amongst students towards campus politics was brought into focus (with many electoral positons running un-opposed, or suffering from a low voter turnout), it is encouraging to see the upcoming SRC elections have attracted thirty nominations for the various council roles — indeed, the position of Postgraduate Representative has eight people running for two posts.

Student participation is a part of life on campus that is often taken for granted, but continuing contribution from the student body is vital in every part of university life. Aside from the obvious importance to the student media outlets, who survive on the enthusiasm and hard graft of those willing to take on the often substantial extra workload involved with being a part of print and broadcast journalism, there are numerous events and organisations within Glasgow University that would simply cease to function without student involvement.

As an example that almost everyone can relate to, Freshers’ Week is peerless. Most people reading this will have memories of their first week at Glasgow, alcohol addled or not —most will not, however, think about how hundreds of older students would have been giving up their last week of summer (some even more than that), to pull it all together.

Reading this, many will be thinking that it’s just another way for uni to eat into your free time. True, it does require some of your leisure hours, but the fact is that your time at Glasgow should be about more than the day you pull on your rental robes and pick up your scroll. Ask anyone in charge of a club, a media head, a union board member, and you’ll get a passionate reason why.

Essentially, university is as much about what you give as what you take. By all means, get drunk, have a good time, and certainly do your course, but by the time you leave this part of the world, have something more than a degree to show for your time here.


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