Election candidates warned not to attend meet and greet session at pub


CANDIDATES for the upcoming students’ union elections have been advised not to attend a ‘Meet the Candidates’ event at the Cricketers pub this Sunday evening.

It is alleged that not every candidate was given the same amount of notice of the event, with some knowing a week before and some only one day before.

The Cricketers pub, on King Edwards Road said it had: “invited candidates from Swansea University Students’ Union’s upcoming Full Time Officer elections to come and meet students and talk to them about their ideas. The atmosphere will be chilled out providing students who use our pub as a local a great opportunity to meet candidates ahead of the elections.”

But the students’ union sent an email to all running candidates warning the meet and greet event wasn’t in an official union venue or “in the values, spirit or believe of the union or of the elections.”

Students with disabilities officer Tori-Ilana Evans posted on social media: “If you are running for a full time officer position I would urge you to consider the potential danger you would be putting both yourself and your manifesto in.”

Manifestos are all being released on the same day (March 24), so that all candidates are on a level playing field.

Welsh Affairs officer Lewys Aron took to social media, saying: “In my view this [event] is a deliberate attempt to undermine some candidates.”

One candidate confirmed: “Got the invitation just few hours ago.. so will not go thn.”

Tom Lake, a student from the Computer Society, applauded the idea, but stopped short of endorsing the event: “I like the idea of more events where people can meet all the candidates and compare them perhaps this event is one for the SU to take on board and consider organising officially next year.”

Students’ Union president Zahid Raja was hosting the event on Facebook, but later distanced himself from the event, saying:
“I’ve un-hosted myself and just want to take this opportunity to distance myself from the event. I completely appreciate the work that Maz and the Cricketers are doing through this event in increasing the profile of the full-time officer elections, and would definitely encourage more local businesses in Swansea to do the same! However, given my role in the students’ union I am unable to help organise an event related to elections outside of the union.”

A spokesperson for the Cricketers pub later blamed the students’ union for the failure to inform all the candidates: “Just to clear the air, we did send the information about this event to the SU to disseminate to ALL of the candidates. This didn’t happen.”

A spokesperson for the students’ union confirmed that all candidates were made aware of the event, but only so the union could “condemn” its nature and advise against going.”

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