Being a student is one of the most stressful and rewarding years of an individual’s life and while there are many faculties to govern the student body, the Guild of students and Guild Council is the most renowned for student representation on the UWI campuses. Established in 1951, the originally named ‘Guild of Undergraduates’ was later named ‘Guild of Students’ in 1996 which therefore encompassed postgraduate and undergraduate students registered as part-time or full-time.
Over the years since inception, the guild council has been entrusted with promoting and developing the social, cultural, economic and educational interests of the students of the UWI community and internationally. The Council fosters discipline and growth of character in its members, and students on the Council are able to develop themselves and their skills in areas such as leadership, planning, critical thinking, etc.
The 2015 elections for the Guild Council commenced in March with campaigning beginning in early February. This year had many females dominating the nominations as even the prospective Guild President was a female, running against a male. As recorded since 1951, there have only been sixty four elected presidents, of which fifty-seven were males and seven females.
This 2015 election was probably record breaking to date, where the guild council is now dominated by females, giving a new perspective on female empowerment and leadership. During campaigning, the investment of time and treasure called the battle between each nominee close and after much deliberation and voting, Ms. Davianne Tucker, twenty-two year old, marketing major came out victorious as the 2015-2016 president-elect of the Guild of Students. While her term is but an academic year, she has high hopes and dreams during her tenure. Tucker told the The Gleaner Online that her priority will be on making the Guild more “visible” and accountable to students.
Her first line of action is that she hopes to foster training workshops for her Council to gain leadership skills. “The overarching objective I want my team to achieve in the upcoming academic year is a new style of advocacy, leadership, and development through innovative strategies plus foster a real partnership with the students,” she told Career & Education in an interview last week.
“My team’s approach to advocacy will encompass a more holistic strategy involving students and their solutions to fixing our issues,” Tucker said. “We are planning for this to happen in numerous phases. The first phase will involve our ‘Fix Things’ campaign. For this, councillors will be required on three days of each month to target campus students with the objective of getting to know them better and record their issues. I believe the more we connect with our students, the more we’ll be able to achieve.”
In light of the elections and in light of voting, there are still some tips that will nonetheless help with the election phase to ensure that the student body is fairly and greatly represented by the ‘best of the best’ who will not only bring leadership but other qualities which will benefit the university.
Tips for Elections (taken from hautepeople.net)
- Vote wisely: Do not vote for candidates based on popularity but rather what they can do for you, the student body and the university in the long run.
- Vote: This is so simple and easy, yet so many students opt out of it. If you choose not to vote at the Guild Elections you can always vote at the Hall Elections. As long as you are attached to a hall you can vote. Your vote counts towards a President or Council member who will best represent you.
- Listen to the Speeches: This gives you a chance to know how each candidate does in front of a crowd and what they are actually planning to do should they be elected.
- Take it Easy: There is no need for disputes, graffiti, rowdiness and so on, just relax and make your opinion heard without the use of slander and disrespect
By: Alexandra Daley