Photos: Kat Price; background image: Warwick SU; adaptations by Ann Yip

Diversity across new sabbatical team

For the first time in at least three years, the Students’ Union (SU) sabbatical team will consist of a female president, a ‘non-white’ officer, an international student officer and will be a female-majority team.

Cat Turhan has been elected as next year’s SU president and will be the first female president in eight years, since Kat Stark in 2005-2006.

Maahwish Mirza, who was elected to be education officer, will also be one of the first ‘non-white’ sabbatical officers in at least four years. In addition, Bebe Husakova from Prague, elected welfare and campaigns officer, will be the first international student sabbatical officer since Leo Boe in 2011-2012.

The 2014-2015 team will also continue the female-majority from this year’s sabbatical team with Cat Turhan, Maahwish Mirza, Bebe Husakova and Ruby Compton-Davies, who will be the third consecutive female sports officer since 2012.

Kemal Ertas, third-year Economics undergraduate, commented on Bebe being the first international sabbatical officer since 2011: “I didn’t really think about that. It shouldn’t really be an issue. I voted for Bebe because she seemed to be the nicest and she talked to me.

“Anything new is good. Being an international student, I think she would have something new to bring to the university and the SU.”

Isaac Leigh, who was elected societies officer and is currently a third-year Literature student, commented: “I’m so happy that we’ve got such an [ethnically and nationally] diverse team to represent the university and I cannot wait to work with them.”

Sophie Monk, third-year Literature undergraduate, also commented on the nationally and ethnically diverse sabbatical team: “It’s about time ethnic minorities had a platform to voice their opinions.”

She said of a female SU president: “It would make sense as the people are represented. It would be a brilliant change of conversation and expectation.”

Mr Leigh also commented on the SU’s first female president in eight years: “It’s fantastic. It opens flood gates for women and shows that women can run.

“I am so proud of Cat, she worked so hard and has really been an inspiration this year.”

Hannah Seaman, former president of Warwick Anti-Sexism Society (WASS), said of next year’s continuation of a female-majority team: “I’m really happy about that, I’m relieved actually. It allows equality, hopefully for women. It’s a fantastic result, it gives hope to the university and shows how people care about equality.”

Tara Young and Fauve Morse, who were both members of Women’s Football, were excited to have Ruby as next year’s sports officer.

On Ruby being the third consecutive female sports officer since Natasha Cabral in 2012, Tara Young, second-year Law student, said: “It’s really important. It shows that it doesn’t matter whether you are male or female.

“Even guys from sports clubs will vote for women.

“It’s about policies and not about gender.”

Fauve Morse, former Literature student at Warwick, said: “We are really proud of [Ruby]. It’s good that we have another women’s sports representative, considering the amount of men’s sports clubs on campus.”

Harry Bignell, second-year History of Art student, said: “It’s nice to have a female sports officer as it is representative of the university population.

“It’s refreshing.”

However, on explaining the all-female candidates for sports officer, Ms Bignell said: “I don’t think there’s any reason for it. It depends what people want to do.

“I don’t think it’s really about empowerment.”

Laura Parry, third-year Literature student, added: “Gender shouldn’t really be a factor in the elections.”

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