If you are considering standing for election for University Councillor, the most important thing is to always remember which interests you are defending in this role. Being a member of Council gives swathes of privilege and power, but with it also comes a huge responsibility. You are not here to build a career in politics or management, you are not even here to defend the interests of students. You have the responsibility to uphold values of justice not only within the University, but most importantly for the world’s most marginalised who are disproportionately affected by the business of the University and its partners. Always keep it in mind when you are articulating your arguments, when you are taking a decision, when you are determining the direction of your vote.
"It is crucial in your role that you engage proactively with student, staff and local groups."
It is crucial in your role that you engage proactively with student, staff and local groups. Attend rallies, offer support, join societies meetings, go to JCR/MCR events, organize meetings with management and work in solidarity with precarious staff and local communities. Being accountable does not mean waiting to hear what people say, being accountable is going out to the people you stand for in solidarity and cooperation and always willing to listen. The community sets the agenda.
Finally, you need to have a lot of patience. Things are changing and now Council is more progressive than it used to be. But still, it is not the most supportive environment and you have to fight an uphill battle with almost everything in adversity. Also, be ready to do loads of unglamorous jobs too, like spending a weekend a month at home reading through 500 pages of Council agenda.