The annual week in which young and eager undergraduate students do their best to secure your vote and lead the Trinity Student’s Union. I have found my perspective, along with my peers, has changed over the years. As an impressionable and reserved first year student I let the week wash over me in a haze of brightly coloured campaign t-shirts. If I’m perfectly honest I didn’t know what was going on, I didn’t even think freshers were allowed to vote. However, the next year it became more relevant to me as a friend of mine was beginning her welfare campaign and of course because she was my friend she was instantly better than all her competitors. Why would I need to read their manifestos?
There is a great buzz being on a campaign team, to feel part of something that may have a lasting effect upon Trinity student politics. You are constantly keeping an eye on everything that happens in the news (feed). How many people are showing support in their profile picture? Whose hashtags have they been using? It can become a bitter rivalry in which friends are separated for a whole weeks time. There can be no mingling between campaign teams.
In my third year, I found myself on a number of campaign teams and of course because they were friends they were better than anyone else. In spite of this, I went into this week with less enthusiasm then the previous year, perhaps because it felt too soon for another campaign week. It becomes obvious that the campaign week returns too quickly. The older you get the faster time creeps up on you and the quicker it arrives. Also, let’s not forget the workload intensifies. By the time you come around to being a final year student, the Arts Block becomes an obstacle course. I found myself ferociously trying to avoid eye contact. The tricks I used (and you may borrow these): looking at the ground or reading a book as you walk, massive over ear headphones and a new one I’ve discovered, eating as you walk. Nobody should dare interrupt someone as they eat. By the end of the week it becomes a competition between friends to see if you avoided the most campaigners. Nevertheless I believe it is important to vote for those you believe to be the stronger candidate, because even when I didn’t care about the contenders last year, I didn’t want to leave the college I love so dearly in the wrong hands. What about those sweet first years next year? Won’t someone please think of the Freshers!?