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8 simple rules for winning the DSU election

DSU president Sagar Jha. (Photo by Ian Froese)
DSU president Sagar Jha. (Photo by Ian Froese)

1. Eight glasses of water a day, along with 8 class talks – Obviously don’t do them simultaneously unless you are a skilled ventriloquist. If you want to win an election, respect yourself by keeping hydrated and respect the student body by coming to them. The more class talks, the better.

2. Remember Sexton and Carleton – During my campaign last year, Carleton Campus and Sexton campuses were the most fun places to campaign. Class talks here were important and well received, but the best way to win votes in this realm is to ask people what they need to improve their time at Dalhousie.

3. Keep it relevant – No one cares about your ideological principles, they care about their student experience. Don’t go in and talk about how you can make the union better, talk about how you can make students’ lives better. Work on improving the union is selfless work that you can do when you get elected. You will get more traction if you talk about course selection improvements than revising how DSU council operates.

4. Don’t look at Punditry – Unless you want your soul to be crushed. Punditry will focus on campaign faults. There is an overwhelming number of “pundits” (a culturally appropriated term from my own culture) who aren’t even members of the union. If you need validation, observe how often their predictions are right. You’d be better off flipping a coin (unless you’re the prophet Ben Wedge himself). Seriously though, the media around DSU elections is given little consideration by the average voter.

5. Seek endorsements – Especially from societies and other candidates. Not a bad idea to ask the Dawgfather for a quick high five or photo op.

6. Sell your ideas, not your resume – To ensure that voters know why they should pick you over another candidate. I don’t care if you are the most experienced person for the job, I want to be convinced that you will make my time at Dal better. Obviously have a balance on this one, but focus on your aspirations over your accomplishments.

7. Debating isn’t the be all, end all – How many undecided voters really attend a debate? Last year I bombed my Sexton debate, hard. I made up for it by handing out pins on campus the next day. There were probably 20 votes I lost at the debate, but 50 I made up on Sexton the next day.

8. Eat something – The best official position I had on my campaign team was the person responsible for making sure I had a full stomach. If you need lunch during the campaign, I will personally buy it for you, so long as you are eating.


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