Recently, I ran for the Student Representative Council for my University, the University of Glasgow. I’ve worked with the SRC twice before in Freshers Week as a Freshers Helper and loved every second. In second year, I didn’t have the confidence to run for council, but this year felt different. The most obvious position to run for was General Representative, since the College of Arts Representative position had been taken.
I felt like the Gen Rep position would be perfect for me, because I genuinely care about every single student at the university and want to make sure that everyone’s voices are heard and fairly represented. I also like supporting people in need, and this position would give me a platform to do that.
Glasgow University has given me some amazing experiences, and I am completely in love with it. I want to make sure every single student leaves the university with the fondest memories and experiences, and with a love as strong as mine for the university.
On Wednesday, we had to make a speech at a hustings event, which was pretty nerve racking. I recited my speech in my sleep a few nights before I think, and when I gave it, I remember nothing because I just knew I needed to get my points out and to come across well. It went well, and the questions after were tough, but I feel like I got my main goal across; #makepeoplehappy.
I got home after a quick drink with all the other candidates, sat down on my bed, and cried. I didn’t realise how badly I wanted the position until I’d had to start the process of ordering flyers, and sorting out a campaign team. The same week, I’ve been trying to co-found a society for the students studying French and that had caused me a lot of stress on top of university work, and of course, the election.
After I’d had my much needed cry, I put on a meditation guide and drifted off to sleep the earliest I had in a year and a half.
My alarm went off at 7:30am and, for the first time in a very long time, I was wide awake from the millisecond I woke up. I got up, prepared everything for the day and headed to library hill to start campaigning. I had 1000 flyers, 500 stickers and 1200 sweets to hand out, it was going to be a long day.
In all honesty, the day is a big blur of a lot of talking, a lot of smiling, and a lot of tiredness. I handed out around 800 of my flyers, 150 of my stickers and 800 of my sweets. By 3pm, I was so tired I could barely function. So, the next obvious step? Go for a drink.
We headed to The Crafty Pig and had some food and a beer, and half way down my first pint, I started to feel like a normal human being again. We got through a few and chilled for the next few hours, before heading to the results event. We were told it started at 6pm so by 6:30pm we were getting very, very anxious for the results.
I was sitting next to my good friend Guthrie, who was also running for the same position, of which there were four spaces and eleven candidates running. They excruciatingly went through all the other positions first, before the title screen ‘General Representative Results’ appeared on the screen. Me and Guthrie gripped each others hands as the officer began to speak, about to say the names of the elected candidates.
‘Jenny Benson’ was the first name to be announced, and Guthrie cuddled me tight, congratulating me as everyone around clapped. A sigh of relief washed over me as I realised that everything I’d done and been stressing since I’d put in my application had been worth it.
‘David Guthrie’ was the second name to be announced, as I felt another sigh of relief for him and cuddled him, congratulating him as everyone clapped once more. ‘Shereif Kholeif’ was the third name to be announced, another friend, who we all clapped for and congratulated, and ‘Fatemeh Nokhbatolfoghahai’ was the last name to be announced, who everyone also clapped for.
The election was very close, closer than I’d imagined it to be. However, I’m completely over the moon that I was chosen and I think the four of us will be great together and will hopefully do great things for students all year.
I woke up this morning feeling very accomplished and happy with all the effort I’d put in to the campaign. I was a little hungover but had so much energy, so I took a walk to Kelvingrove Park. It’s cold today but there’s not a cloud in the sky. I wrote in my journal and realised how far I’ve come over the past couple of years, mentally.
I’m a very happy person right now.