The political careers of many leading politicians in Kenya began in campus. Hassan Omar Hassan served as the chair of Moi University Students Organization, James Orengo was elected the SONU chair, Kipchumba murkomen chair of the Kenya Law School Students Society. Others include Ababu Namwamba, Babu Owino, johstone sakaja, Isaac Ruto Justin Muturi amongst others. So if you are interested in campus politics, here is a guide that will help you get elected, whatever the post you are going for.
Be a people’s person
At times popularity gets you elected in campus the only way you can get popular even if you are not is by being a people’s person. Engage with other students freely and be that candidate who is approachable, attend campus functions, including the ones you don’t like. A candidate who is friendly is more likely to get votes than ever a serious candidate Have a strong campaign team.
Additionally, have direct conversations with the voters, introduce yourself to them and make new friends. Also remember to be passionate and let people see that you are committed to being elected.
Have a campaign team
Having a committed and strong campaign team is also vital in winning an election on campus. The team should preferably be made up of friends and accomplices who have your interest at mind.
Have a campaign schedule
Together with your campaign team, come up with a schedule that allows you to effectively campaign in all the corners of the campus. You can start.
Have a budget
Make a budget for your campaign materials, posters, T-shirts, pamphlets etc.
Know your target groups
As a candidate it is important to single out the target groups of voters you intend to meet for instance student organizations such as Christian Union, Muslim students, students with special needs, campus sportsmen amongst others. Speak to as many people as you can in the cafeteria, church, mosque and hostels.
Don’t just relax after announcing your bid to your friends, not everyone knows you so get out there and campaign. Also ensure you start your campaigns early. Target the first years, they will get you elected because unlike continuing students who voting in campus elections is not a priority to most of them, first years always turn out in large numbers to vote.
Know your opponents
Know who your opponents are and their weaknesses and use this to your advantage. Politics is a dirty game so remember to play by the rules and keep your hands dirty but your gloves always clean. People will be hesitant to vote for you if your politics is too dirty. Give fake promises if you have to, give freebies like free drinks but always know the limits to playing dirty. You should also have a campaign manifesto that is well presented and relevant.
Ensure you don’t complicate your campaign poster by adding too much text in it. Make your posters clear, visible and free from spelling mistakes. Also remember to place your posters in strategic locations where they can be seen easily.
Use social media
Create you tube videos, Facebook pages, WhatsApp groups and twitter handles to spread your campaign agenda effectively. You should however avoid comments and posts that can destroy your political ambitions in these social media platforms.