The results of the inaugural hall society elections have been published, but showed disappointing participation.
There were 14 halls involved, including Rootes, Westwood and Liberty Park, and a total of 5 positions available for each hall; president, secretary, treasurer, social secretary and sports officers.
The new societies were designed to help improve hall spirit, and “to meet people from all over the world with all sorts of interests”.
Further plans include a inter-hall sports tournament, and it is hoped that the societies would also be able to organise trips such as going “to Alton Towers or a weekend in Amsterdam”.
However, there were disappointingly few candidates standing, and of the 14 halls up for election, only Arthur Vick, Heronbank, Jack Martin and Westwood filled all exec positions. Rootes, with over 700 members, elected president Anthony Almeida, but all other positions were unfilled. Of the 70 exec positions available across the 14 halls, only 39 positions have been filled. Furthermore, neither Cryfield nor Redfearn elected a single exec member.
One fresher from Cryfield told the Boar, “I don’t even know what the hall society is, and didn’t hear about any elections”. Another from Rootes said “I think it’s a great idea but there weren’t enough people interested in standing for it.” One member of the Tocil society reported that she “voted, but there weren’t candidates for all of the positions”.
Some halls have embraced their new societies, however, such as Arthur Vick which is planning to start producing “hoodies and other branded items”. Liberty Park president Greg Bowkett spent week 7 actively trying to recruit new members for his society, whilst the Heronbank execs have set up special Facebook pages.
Overall, however, this is another blow for student participation and democracy on campus, after the Annual General Forum failed to make quorum earlier in the term, with just 0.195 percent turnout. It also bodes ominously for the referendum in week
9, where for “a vote to be valid either 5 percent of Union members must vote for or against the motion”.
Mike Pidgeon, Communications Officer for the Union, said , “It’s not ideal to only have one person on an exec, but we are pleased at the launch of the brand new
societies, it’s something we’re going to build on in the coming years”.