With only a week or so to go until voting starts, the runaway boulder of campaigning is bearing down upon the Indiana Jones of unsuspecting first years with unrelenting haste. Having seen literally some student elections in our time, we’re pretty much experts at the whole thing now. Today we offer a selection of our amassed wisdom, so next time you hear someone talking about “widening access”, “transparency” or (worst of all) “democracy”, you won’t regress into a state of primal terror at the visceral horror of it all.
1 – Don’t take a flyer. Ever.
As polling day approaches, the swarms of hacks carrying brightly coloured t-shirts, wide fixed grins and small bits of paper, squawking their customary cries of “Smith for President!” or “Vote for Jane!”. Craftier breeds may try to lure you in with cake, or even miniature chocolate bars. Be aware though, that accepting just a solitary flyer will mark you out as weak to the ravenous hordes of campaigners, encouraging them to pile more and more tiny pieces of propaganda upon you until they land the killer blow – “Would you like to talk about some of our policies?” By this point, it’s too late.
2 – Hide from Facebook and Twitter
With the new publicity regulations making posters look a bit 2009, more emphasis has been placed on social networking sites, in what some are dubbing the “Air War” of online publicity (although we’re not quite sure why). The usual minor, yet pleasant, ego boost provided by numbers ensconced in a wee red box is lowly eroded over two weeks of endless invitations to attend MyEd for 3 days, pages extolling the virtues of sabb candidates, and tags of you added to tiny pictures that let the world know who you’re voting for. We understand that leaving The Internet is difficult, but try telling strangers interesting facts about your day to compensate. (Although, of course, you should still check our incredible and shamelessly plugged Facebook page).
3 – Don’t go near Pollock Halls
With the doorknocking period at Pollock comes the worst excesses of EUSA hackery – the flyering hoards migrate from Bristo Square to form a fearsome gauntlet of publicity, sour gossiping turns into outright passive aggression, and all the while gangs of hardened doorknockers roam. Its like A Clockwork Orange, only with less bowler hats and more representative democracy. Security and law enforcement agencies strongly recommend staying out of a one mile exclusion zone around Pollock, where vicious street battles between rival campaign teams have been a common sight since the first EUSA election in 1475. Although the modern era has been relatively peaceful, with greater emphasis placed on counter-intelligence and espionage within hack circles, last year the feud between Defend Edinburgh and Labour Students resulted in the bloody Battle of Just-Outside-The-JMCC. Casualties were numbered in the thousands, while parts of Holland House assumed destroyed in the countless artillery barrages were later found outside Aberystwyth. The bitter conflict raged on for three days, until hostilities ceased at 5pm on the final day of polling, as per election regulations.
4 – Stay inside for the next week
Ok, go stock up on bottled water, canned goods and fuel as soon as you finish reading this. Barricade your door, draw the curtains, and pray to every god you can that they don’t see you. It’s the only way.