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by Emma Langman, FreshReporter
On Thursday 19th February, the candidates for the upcoming Edinburgh University Students Association elections were announced. There are presently five candidates for the top spot of EUSAâ€™s President â€“ Thomas Graham, Oliver Mundell, Liz Rawlings, Benedict Robbins and James Rodgers. Thomas Graham is a third year student with an impressive amount of experience. As External Convener of the Studentsâ€™ Association, he has a firm grounding in student politics. As well successfully campaigning for the Careers Fair to be extended until 8pm and giving students more storage space in their email accounts, Thomas has also ensured the extension of the main library opening hours until midnight every night of semester.
Yet, he has fierce competition in Liz Rawlings. Liz is a fourth year English Literature student whose main experience comes from her involvement in Edinburghâ€™s student journalism scene. She was editor of â€˜The Studentâ€™ and was nominated for the Guardian student reporter of the year in 2008. Lizâ€™s political background is not quite as extensive, based upon her reporting of events, rather than her personal participation in them. However, she has been petitioning the Scottish Government to give more funding to University teaching, as well as campaigning for better feedback and a 24-hour library.
Oliver Mundell has entered the competition as an independent candidate, whose slogan is â€œDare to be differentâ€. He was elected to EUSAâ€™s three main committees in March last year and has experienced the intensity and hard work of campaigning as a volunteer on Obamaâ€™s campaign last year.
Benedict Robbins is planning his campaign around his status as an ordinary student who simply wants to help other students to better their university. He has yet to widely publicise his background or involvement with student politics, so it will be interesting to see if he manages to impress his voters.
Finally, James Rodgers is a fourth year student whose main experience comes from his position as the convener for the Debating Union. He has also been involved with societies throughout his time at Edinburgh University and is focusing on improving society life as part of his campaign.
The manifestos of each of these candidates are due to be announced during this coming week. From these, we will be able to assess the candidates in more detail. Watch this space for updates of their campaigns, which are sure to become a more obvious presence on campus until the voting days on March 4th and 5th.