An all male line up. President elect Isaac Leigh, with current sabbatic officers Cat Turhan and Rob Ankcorn.

It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s… Students’ Union

Warwick students voiced their disappointment on Friday night, after it was revealed that the 2015/16 Students’ Union (SU) Sabbatical team would be comprised of a male only line up.

This is the first time in five years that an all male sabbatical line up has been elected; the last all male sabbatical team were elected in 2010 for the 2010/11 academic year.

The current sabbatical team comprises of four females and three males. The team also represents multiple ethic backgrounds. However, all seven positions will be taken by an exclusively white-male line up next year.

Concerns began to emerge early in the night, after male candidates were selected for both the Postgraduate and Welfare and Campaigns positions, beating female candidates Prisca Wharton and ‘Bambi’.

As the positions were announced, the possibility of an all white-male sabbatical team became clearer. Sian Elvin, deputy editor at the Boar, voiced concerns an hour into the event at the possibility of an all white, all-male line-up.

At the end of the evening, Ms Elvin commented: “This doesn’t represent me… I’m glad that I’m not going to be here next year.”

Opinions continued to be voiced on the U1 after the event; an anonymous bus dweller sarcastically revelled: “What wonders from the Warwick electorate. This will be great for publicity.”

The only female candidates who came close to a position were Emi Meakin and Maisie Hallam.

Miss Meakin, lost out on the Societies sabbatical position by around 30 votes to the winner George Creasy. Meanwhile, Ms Hallam, who was standing for Education, secured 1568 votes, loosing by just 94 votes to the elected Education officer Charlie Hindhaugh.

Students both at the event and on Twitter were disappointed by the results.

Ellie King, a first-year History student was particularly angry with the results, she stated: “Why do we have an all male, all white, all communist, probably all heterosexual sabb team? Fuck the union.”

Past Warwick sabbatical officers were also disappointed by the lack of diversity. Leo Boe, president of the SU in 2011/12, posted several tweets over the all male line up.

This year fewer female candidates put themselves forward for the sabbatical officer elections. Of the 22 candidates, only 27 percent were female.

Even fewer non-white candidates ran for election. Only 9 percent of the students running for election, two candidates, were non-white. Both of these candidates came last in their respective positions.

Saveena Mangat, a second-year Economics, Politics and International Studies student questioned: “Maybe we should focus on who voted; who concentrated the 20 percent of the votes? The people that vote are the driving force behind who has won.

She added: “A 20 percent turnout is shocking. That’s not representative of Warwick’s student body.”

Warwick’s academic statistics suggest that 23,570 students are enrolled at the university. However, according to the SU website, only 5,184 students voted in the elections. This amounts to just 22 percent of the student body.

What do you think of the all male, all white sabbatical team for 2015/16? Tweet @BoarNews with your opinions.


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