The results for the Warwick Students’ Union (SU) 2016 Autumn Elections were published today, Friday 21 October, after voting opened on Tuesday 18th October. With nineteen positions open to nominations, this is a major election in Warwick student politics.
In the Autumn Elections student get the opportunity to nominate themselves for positions on the Execs of Sabbatical Officers, as Faculty Representatives or as Part-Time Officers.
The Welfare Exec had the most contested positions, with 11 candidates running. Conversely, the Education Exec and Postgraduate Exec had the least competition with 2 and 3 candidates respectively.
The election saw participation from across the student body, with several first-year students choosing to stand for positions during their first month at the University.
Rakbo Perera, a first-year Economics and Sustainable Development student, commented: “I liked the whole atmosphere of campaigning and how it brings people together.”
Overall, 2179 of the student population voted, History students had the highest voting turnout (18.6%) and the Medical faculty had the lowest (2.7%).
When asked why he ran for the role of International Students’ Officer (Non-EU), he said: “Reflecting on the values that [he found] passionate enough to advocate for” was the real drive for him to stand.
The SU provided real time voting statistics throughout the election. Overall, 2179 of the student population voted, History students had the highest voting turnout (18.6%) and the Medical faculty had the lowest (2.7%).
On the election process, Becky Gittings, Democracy and Development officer stated: “I am really pleased with how the Autumn Elections have gone this year.”
“We have had much more contested elections than usual, especially for International Officer and several Execs! All candidates worked extremely hard and carried out really high-quality campaigns as a result.”
She added: “I’m really excited at the prospect of working with the new Execs and seeing all that this brand new set of SU representatives have to offer. Watch this space!”
As with previous years, this election period did not go without it’s controversies. During the election process Warwick For Free Education (WFFE) publically released a statement coming out against one of the candidates running for a position on the Development exec, Jack Hadfield.
WFFE demonstrated their concern with the candidate stating that Jack had a, “disdain for minorities and oppressed groups” and urged student to re-open the nomination (R.O.N) for the candidate.
When contacted for a response, Jack said that he was “disappointed” with WFFE. He also said that it “clearly constitutes negative campaigning.”
In response, the SU’s Adjudication Panel also stated: “The panel would like to convey their disappointment in an external group’s interference with the democratic process of the Autumn Elections and the potential effects their comments may have on candidate welfare.”
There are a few positions that did not have candidates running therefore, students will have a second opportunity to get co-opted by council for any vacant positions.
Democracy Exec: Michael Kynaston, Tanay Chothani, Dee Yon Chng, Marie Dams, Sebastian Randell, Henry Naylor
Development Exec: Ellie King, Ella Newton, Robert Blagov, Natasha Ottley-Kerr, Hok Chiu, Alexandra Bevis
Education Exec: Marie Dams, Vanesa Yordanova, Jake Sargent
International Students’ Officer (Non-EU): Rakbo Perara
Mental Health Campaigns Representatives: Naomi Hyde, James Da Costa
Postgraduate Exec (Research): Craig Gent, Nathan Parsons
Postgraduate Exec (Taught): Max Rodgers, Emily Dunford
Societies Exec: Emily Davis, Max Rodgers, Joe Wheatley, Aisha Zahid, Niall Johnson, Henry Riley, Luke Hardcastle, Adam Smith
Sports Exec: Jake Allingan, William Hamilton, Gavin Kirby, Alice Lovatt, Alexandra Bevis
Welfare Exec Member: Ellen Holmes, Sara Boiten, Felix Ling, Molly Inglis, Shakeel Hajat, Ollie Greenwood