You will have undoubtedly noticed that a few things are different on campus. Banners are everywhere, strange people are constantly accosting you, and there’s a zoo’s worth of those really ‘fun’ animal onesies showing what ‘bubbly’ people the future Students’ Union officers are. Here’s your guide on how to survive the next two weeks without having a nervous breakdown.
Use the underpass:
The simplest way to avoid people pestering you on Parade is not to be on Parade. Avoid being harassed by the campaign teams of Johnny “insert catchy nickname” Walkson-Smythe, there is a secret level of the campus that can be used instead. Ever wondered why the parade is Level 2? It’s because there is a Level 1. The underpass will become your holy grail during the elections. For the next two weeks, the student activity on the underpass will change from nearly nothing to slightly more than nearly nothing. You can access the underpass from the bus stop, Wessex House and from 8 West. This method of keeping your sanity is a little risky however; the underpass is essentially a road, but so long as you follow the Highway Code, you should be okay.
The fake phone-call:
They’re walking towards you, campaign literature in hand. All of a sudden, that 10.15 conference call from Frankfurt vibrates in your pocket. You take the call and look at the candidate; ‘Sorry. I simply have to take this.’ Of course, said phone call is but a figment of your imagination. A mere rouse to make you look busier and more important than you actually are. It’s one of the quickest, most convenient ways to avoid the election rush.
The “I’ve already voted”:
In previous years, the easiest way to not have your personal space invaded was by simply saying that you’ve already voted. Of course we at bathimpact wouldn’t dream of advising people to lie, but I like to live by the old Irish adage “vote early, vote often”. I had my vote in last year once I’d realised people stopped bothering you once you were a lost cause. Make up your mind as soon as possible. After that, you’re entitled to scream ‘LEAVE ME ALONE’ directly in the face of any campaigner*.
I’ve just wasted the last 30 seconds of your life because this year voting only opens on the Tuesday, so until that point you have no legitimate form of protection from the gaggling masses, but when it does come it will be very, very welcome.
Safety in numbers:
In the bush, a lone springbok is a dead springbok, that’s why they move in groups. The same principle applies to elections’ fortnight. There are only so many campaigners available and they can’t hold more than one person’s attention at a time, so as long as you’re not the slowest in the pack, you can get away with only one or two stickers attached to your clothing.
Election fortnight can be a harrowing time for anyone, but so long as you keep your wits about you, and follow the tips in this article, you can come out the other side relatively unblemished.
* Legal note: you’re probably not.