Over one week, elections for student’s union take place alongside selection of new office holders across all societies and departments. The democratic process followed involves nominations, formation of core teams for candidates, preparing and releasing agendas; campaigning takes over a period of a week at the end of which elections take place through secret ballots. Once the new office holders of LSR’s student union, department and societies are elected, a formal handing over ceremony takes place to begin the session.
On 1st April, the outgoing student’s union of LSR announced the new team who would be taking the reins as follows:
President: Charu Maheswari
Cultural Secretary: Shambhavi Diggi
General Secretary: Aditi Dhillon
Treasurer: Smitha Sabu
The election campaign started from 28th March with informal confrontation, to 1st April when results were finally announced. 84% of the student body of LSR voted as elections came to an end with new office holders. We got in touch with the new union to learn about their vision, election experience and insights into their agenda.
Can you describe your campaign?
President, Charu Maheshwari: The focus of my campaign was two-fold. Firstly, it was increasing approachability of the students’ union by engaging with the students’ body on a personal level and eliminating the difference between the electorate and the elected. Secondly and more importantly, the goal is to unify the student body as one unit by bridging the gaps caused by differences on various grounds.
Cultural Secretary, Shambhavi Diggi: All we did in our campaign was having great fun! We made some songs for the campaign and we would sing them as loud as we could while playing our daphli. Every time we started singing, people would join in and everyone would start singing with us. One day, we even had a mime campaign where all of us painted our faces and went around college telling people to vote, it was definitely one great idea to implement.
Treasurer, Smitha Sabu: I have been working on my agenda for the past 3 months before elections. I made my agenda as realistic as possible. Apart from making a feasible sponsorship plan I also tried to address the general concerns faced by the student body in large. The campaigning and agenda were based on my principles – honesty, transparency and dedication
What was the process like?
President, Charu Maheshwari: Even before we started preparing for the elections, our seniors had told us – “It is going to be a time like never before”. And so it was. The preparation period, which extended as long as a few months for some candidates is nothing short of life-changing. There is far more learning in these two months than any of us had imagined. Falling, learning, getting back up – that is what it was all about.
Cultural Secretary, Shambhavi Diggi: The election process was extremely hectic and exhausting. We were completing our assignments, trying to attend classes, making our agendas, preparing our posters , trying to plan a campaign, talking to as many people as we could together with performing in all the fests. However, in the end it all paid off.
Any particular moment you’d like to recall from the elections?
President, Charu Maheshwari: So, this happened around 15-20 days before elections. It wasn’t the best day I had had. I was having a tough time coping up with the circumstances, and was on my way to the incumbent union member’s room to withdraw my candidature. My roommate happened to cross me on the way and noticed I was uneasy, and there it was, an hour long therapy session in the middle of the corridor. We took a U turn, and started preparing for the next two weeks with double the enthusiasm.
Cultural Secretary, Shambhavi Diggi: I was really nervous during my confrontation , but as soon as I went onto the podium, I fixed my vision on my friends sitting right in front of me, I knew that they were there for me and hence I was able to answer all the questions. When the results were out, I recall calling up my mother as all of us shouted into the phone. She couldn’t figure out a word but she heaved a sigh of relief because she knew that we won. At last it ended.
What are your future plans for the college?
President, Charu Maheshwari: The only ‘future’ I am looking at right now is the next one year, and how it will be about reaching new heights and setting new benchmarks. Although it has hardly been a few days since we as a union have started working together but, take my word when I say this – the coming year for LSR looks better than what you can imagine.
Cultural Secretary, Shambhavi Diggi: We’ll be focusing on things one step at a time to make the year a grand success!
General Secretary, Aditi Dhillon: I feel truly lucky to have a great team to work with for the upcoming year. We hope to make this year unforgettable.
Treasurer, Smitha Sabu: I truly hope to live up-to the expectations set upon all of us and give back twice as more, than the support I received from the student community. As I intend to follow Martin Luther King Jr’s quote, “I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I’m interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.”
Image Credits: Shaina Ahluwalia