International Students

UMSU International Extends Nomination Deadline for Election

19 April 2018

UMSU International has extended the deadline for nominations for its annual general election to increase competition after multiple positions were uncontested or under-contested.

The deadline was extended by a week, from 13 April to 20 April, leaving just under two weeks until the election, which will take place from 2 to 4 May.

The four uncontested positions were president, education and welfare vice-president, communications director, and communications officer.

Uncontested positions are those for which only one person has been nominated, while under-contested positions are those for which only a few people have been nominated.

Since extending the deadline, UMSU International has reported an increased number of nominations for a number of positions. According to the current HR Officer, the president position is still uncontested.

“There is nothing serious about it, we just want to give more opportunities,” returning officer for the election and current UMSU International treasurer Melia Wijaya said.

According to Wijaya and another one of the returning officers, Angel Wee, who is also the current secretary of the department, UMSU International’s reach has been expanding.

The department’s electoral regulations specify that the returning officers must extend the nomination deadline by at least one academic day in the case that a position remains uncontested after nominations close, but Wijaya and Wee insist that they are doing so in order to increase engagement.

“This year we are hoping to have at least two to three participants for each position. We want to raise our bar to set it higher to involve more participants,” Wee said.

Sasya N., a student from Indonesia, voiced her concerns about under-contested positions. “I do find it quite concerning for the future of the organisation. I think that’d be quite limiting because they would not get hold of a diverse set students with a little number of applicants.”

Publicity seems to be a concern for UMSU International.

“It takes time for news of our election to spread,” Wee said.

Current Human Resources Officer Rebecca Vincent said she was not very concerned. “In the past we’ve had lots of sign-ups for uncontested positions after we introduced an extended deadline,” she said. “However it did serve as a reminder to improve on publicity for next time.”

N. said that she had not even heard about the the possibility of positions being uncontested. “I find that pretty surprising because I wouldn’t have thought UMSU would be lacking exposure. I feel like they should expand on their efforts in building member engagement more.”

If you’re interested in nominating for any of the positions in the UMSU International election, you can find the nomination form here.

Note: a former version of this article stated that the position of president was no longer contested. The article has since been updated to state that the position is still uncontested.

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