Great question! I think the issue, as it is so often with SUSU, is communication, and the short answer to your question is that SUSU needs to be proactive in communicating with students and not its normal, passive, self. I think a lot of these referenda have been knee-jerk responses to Sabbs - and SUSU generally - thinking they aren't being seen to do enough; and a referendum is a great way of making sure the student population can see that you're at least doing something! The reason that these referenda haven't been successful or helpful - or indeed, necessary - is because they're not well thought through; they're designed to patch a hole in student engagement, rather than confronting the root issue of actually telling students what SUSU is doing for them. Overcoming the massive inertia of general student apathy towards SUSU is going to take time. Currently, SUSU still takes a very passive approach to getting information to people; if you want to find out what's been discussed in a Zone meeting, for example, getting to the minutes as a regular student is pretty much impossible. I've just spent 10 minutes looking for the appropriate bit of the drop-down menu to get me to the CI Zone minutes, and I can't find it; searching for them brings up results from 2014 rather than recent meetings. What we need, therefore, is a proactive approach to getting information to students, rather than waiting for them to come to us. I'm proposing to implement a sign-up system for Zone meeting and Sub-Committee meetings that will automatically send minutes and updates about Zones to students by email, and when they log in to the SUSU website. This might seem like a lot of emails - I think Evie described this idea in our debate as "the SUSU Spam Cannon" - but we're realistically looking at maybe 3-8 more emails per month, which really isn't a lot. The weekly Facebook updates from Sabbs are good too but, again, require students (and the Facebook algorithms) to find them manually or just happen to see them while scrolling. Facebook also isn't great for reaching International Students for whom Facebook might not be their preferred social media, and SUSU needs to get better at using alternative social medias like WeChat to engage international students as well. Putting these weekly updates in an email form too might also make them more accessible to everyone, regardless of their background; everyone has a student email. We also need to get better at communicating WHY things are important, and why they affect students! With some of the big issues right now - like the University restructure, cuts to staff pay and pensions - it's pretty clear that they affect students because they decrease the quality of the education we're like to receive, but with other issues more internal to SUSU, it's not always immediately clear why they're important. So if something's going to be changed, whether its society funding guidelines, the structure of the Union Senate, changing to paper straws in the Bridge, we need to be making sure that WHY we're doing these things is properly communicated to people, and that that communication isn't just in some forgotten, dusty drop-down of the the SUSU Website. Finally, I think that actually holding more All Student Votes, and more votes generally would be really healthy for engagement in the Union. These don't need to be massive, earth-shaking referenda; in fact, I think that it would be better if they weren't. The last All Student Vote was essentially just a "Do You Think The Bad University Restructure Sucks? YES/NO", and whilst that's good for providing a mandate for SUSU to do something, it's exceptionally poor at actually telling SUSU what it is that students want done about the University Restructure. Here's some suggestions to improve this: - Give Academic Reps more power to hold their own, department- or faculty-based polls to gauge what students think needs to be done - Hold regular student consultations in partnership with University Senior Management; this would allow students to put forward ideas directly to SUSU and the University simultaneously, and allow students to see us debate the University in a student-led forum. - Hold more regular All Student Votes on more nuanced issues; Student Polls might be a better name for them. A great variety of response options and/or including write-in responses would be a good way of doing this. These wouldn't need to be votes requiring quoracy since they'd be advisory polls; a few hundred responses would be easily achievable and give a good impression of the general leaning of student opinion. All of these ideas would help turn around the apathy and anger towards SUSU and start building back up the massive amount of trust that has been lost over the past few years. If you want to talk to me more about any of this then please contact me via my campaign Facebook page at facebook.com/chrisfordci or via email at email@example.com.