President tells student critics to ‘quit whingeing’

Zahid Raja

SUSU President Zahid Raja has responded to complaints about the botched consultation process to choose the five new full-time officer roles by telling critics to “quit whingeing”.

Only 185 students out of a possible 18,000 voted in the referendum to choose the new roles.

Many Swansea students were angered about the long, drawn-out consultation process and the lack of publicity about the vote, which lead to a low student turn out.

Student Vikki Baker said: “Poor publicity. I wasn’t aware there was a second ‘tie breaking’ referendum.”

Chris Melvin, Eng D Materials Engineering student, said: “Poor publicity, not enough information about what the mandates and responsibilities of the roles were.”

“The lack of promotion for something so important to Swansea students and so vital to the structure of the students’ union was terrible.

“If the students’ union can’t get a sufficient number of students voting on this then they should have something alternative in place – how can 184 students out of 15, 000 (undergraduates) have a justified say in the structure and future of the students’ union?” asked another student.

We asked Swansea Students’ Union President, Zahid Raja, why there was such a low turnout of students.

In response, he said: “You’re never going to get a large number of people outside of the Students’ Union clique interested in any process. At the end of the day, all that we’re describing here are hoops of various sizes that people need to jump through in order to get an outcome. Red tape isn’t interesting to anyone.
“In terms of the actual process, we did everything we were supposed to. I’m sure many will argue that until the Students’ Union pushes something to the point of annoying people, we’re not publicising it enough.”
“To them, I’d point to more important things happening this year like the institutional review where our focus rightly has been.
“Interestingly, in every single Waterfront article to date about the topic, we’ve only heard from those who are angry about the process. They all also happen to be individuals who did not get the set of Full Time Officers that they wanted.”
“You’re naturally going to get people who aren’t happy with the outcome complaining about the process.
“To them I’d say quit whingeing, stand to be a full-time officer and do it in a better way.”

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