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Monte Bovill

University of Tasmania students will be heading to another round of Tasmania University Union elections in March to fill a swag of vacant positions.

The by-elections come after a number of TUU positions were left vacant when no nominations were received for these roles in the 2017 September elections.

The State Council position of Sports President needs to be filled along with 20 other positions.

SRC South: Women’s and Welfare Officer positions are up for grabs as well as the Medical Science Precinct and Conservatorium Representative roles.

SRC North: Welfare, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander, Queer and Disabilities Officer positions are vacant as well as the role of Darlinghurst Campus (Sydney) Representative.

SRC Cradle Coast: Regional Secretary and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Officer roles are yet to be filled.

Postgraduate Council: Almost the entire Postgraduate Council is vacant. The representative role for each region along with the General Secretary, International and Welfare Officer positions up for election.

Education Council: The Secretary position, as well as the regional positions of North and Cradle Coast, are vacant.

The long list of vacancies accompanied a low voter turnout of just 2 per cent of the UTas student population that voted in last years’ TUU elections.

TUU State President, Jess Robinson, said she believes many students are either uninformed or disillusioned about the TUU democratic process.

“The TUU is entrusted with a large amount of students’ money every year, and is also trusted to be their collective voice, and it concerns me that the majority of UTas students do not choose to participate in selecting the people who shoulder that burden,” she said.

“We need to develop a strong culture of democratic participation [with the TUU]. The only way to affect change is to take advantage of the opportunities to participate.”

Robinson hoped that all the positions would be filled, but noted a complete TUU may be hard to achieve.

“Experience has shown us that this often doesn’t happen, but we are hoping to fill at least 90 per cent,” she said.

“We encourage absolutely everyone who is even a little bit interested to consider throwing their hat into the ring. An organisation like the TUU is only as good as the people working in it.”  

An online voting system has been used in recent years to conduct any by-elections.

A date has not yet been confirmed but the by-elections are due to be held sometime in March.

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