THE DECISION to use an image of Marxist revolutionary, Ché Guevara, to advertise the position of Students’ Union (SU) Campaigns and Communications Officer for the upcoming sabbatical elections has been defended by the SU. Answering criticism that the poster could send out the wrong message, current SU Campaigns and Communications Officer, Dan O’Neill said that he chose the image as he feels Ché Guevara was an “inspirational figure”.
“I don’t see how it could be sending out the wrong message whatsoever,” said Mr O’Neill. “The poster clearly says ‘Lead the fight for student rights’ and thats the message we’re sending out with that poster. An inspirational figure like Ché Guevara asks people to lead the fight for student rights.”
Mr O’Neill explained that the idea for the image stemmed from publicity surrounding the recently released film documenting Ché Guevara’s life. “We feel there is a bit of a Zeitgeist surrounding Ché Guevara at the moment because there is a film out and he is a bit of a rebellious figure,” stated Mr O’Neill. “Often the Campaigns and Communications brief is a rebellious role because we’re in charge in organising protests and so on.”
Mr O’Neill declared that there is no deep meaning behind the choice of images and explained that for previous campaigns, posters were designed to tie in with popular culture references. “[For the Class Rep campaign] we used superheroes and the reason behind that was similar [to this campaign] because at the time, Batman was out and we like to use things that are happening at the moment to make the posters look better.”
The posters are part of the SU campiagn to advertise each sabbatical position for the forthcoming elections. Mr O’Neill explained that they started advertising the positions earlier than usual to encourage more students to get involved and use their vote.
Although nominations are still open, Mr O’Neill was hopeful that this year’s election would see a greater turnout than previous years. “I have heard names for every race [and] as far as I know every race is going to be contested this year which is a good thing if it happens… students should get involved in the elections even if they’re just on someone’s campaign team or whatever, it really is a beneficial process and I would encourage people to run”.
The elections will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, 4th and 5th March. The nominations close at 6pm on Thursday, 12th February. Nomination forms are expected to be available online this week.