You might have noticed some advertisement for the Guild Officer Elections. Basically, nominations are being accepted for ALL officer positions (from sabbatical to non-sabbatical). They must be received by the Monday 6th February 2012.
More details can be found on here. The officers elected in this round will hold office during the academic year 2012-2013.
You can contact the relevant officers to ask about their roles if you want to run but are not quite sure about the position you want to go for.
ALL students at the University of Birmingham can run in these elections, and EVERYONE can vote too! Voting will be open in March; but at that time you will see all candidates campaigning frantically on campus, which will turn all bright and cheery!
To international students who want to run for a sabbatical position but are worried about their visa, there is a Sabbatical visa available for a year if you are elected as an officer. So don’t let your status affect your candidacy!
The International Students’ Officer position
If you are considering running for the International Students’ Officer position, then go ahead with it!
The sooner you do it the better!
Even if you do not get elected in the end, you will have a load of fun campaigning and running around trying to convinve people to vote for you.
Regarding an ISO’s responsibilities, the classic line is that you represent all international students to the Guild, the University and other organisations as well. You attend meetings with many different people, and you get to see how a big institution like the Guild or the University runs. I personally find that experiencing what goes on behind the scenes outside lectures is very enriching.
With respect to the commitment you have to make as a non-sabbatical officer (which means a part-time officer who also does their course alongside holding office), it really depends on how much time you have on your hands. They say that the more you put in the more you get out of it. This is true, but you can juggle your course requirements around your officer role. Plus you learn to delegate responsibilities to different people, either within the Guild or beyond, who will help you get the job done. They are always there and ready to help. They are also there to listen to you if you have any concerns worrying you.
I think being an ISO trains you in so many ways, you get to meet loads of people from all over the country which helps enhance your people and communication skills. You become a leader as you have to make sensible choices as to what needs doing and how to capture your fellow international students’ interests and attention. You become a manager in running the International Students’ Association (with whom you work very closely). You are also answerable to the student body with regards to the work that you are doing and how you are ticking off your manifesto points (the changes you say you will bring about); and that is through Guild Council.
If you feel you might not yet have the necessary skills or experience to run for this position, or any at all, then do not worry! No one is perfectly ready for the officer positions, that is why all elected candidates are trained thoroughly over the summer. It is a steep learning curve, but all worth it in the end.
Therefore, if you want to make a difference to your fellow students, we are very eager to hear from you! Do submit your nomination forms and manifestos before the 6 February deadline. Your contributions will be valuable to us and all students too!
With best wishes,