A greater number of Unisa students are expected to take part in the 2014 Unisa Student Representative Council election as compared to previous polls according to Electoral Officer Thembinkosi Mnguni.
“The emphasis before was more on manual and now we have put in place the electronic one and we've been able to run through some voter education to students,” said Mnguni who has managed SRC elections for well over seven years.
Mnguni also told StudyNotesWiki that a new electoral policy and Constitution which detail the composition of the SRC and the election process are being used for the first time this year. Students from the 25 voting stations countrywide have been encouraged to vote through posters, SMS and e-mail. Unisa Radio has also supported the election drive through live broadcasts at different campuses. The often lively broadcasts are of interviews with students and the more than 35 student organisations taking part in the 2014 ballot.
While several students have complained openly about the reliability of myUnisa, Mnguni said these technical difficulties have not resulted in any major disruptions. He also adds that they have procured the services of PricewaterhouseCoopers ahead of the election to audit the entire election process.
StudyNotesWiki has also learned through Electoral Officer Mnguni that the election period will soon be extended by at least six days (to the 12th of February) in order to allow students whose NSFAS applications have not yet been approved as a result of the funding crisis at the financial aid scheme to exercise their right to vote.
A full list of candidates as well as their manifestos is available on the Unisa SRC website. All eligible students can cast their votes electronically, via mobi or in person at a Unisa Regional Centre.