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All-white Sabbatical Team elected for third year running

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Warwick Students’ Union (SU) elections took place on 3 March last week, leading to the third consecutive all-white Sabbatical Team at the University.

Only 2 out of the 19 candidates were non-white; Hok “the Builder” Chiu who ran for President and Behram Khan who ran for Education Officer. Neither of these candidates won.

Two years ago, the Sabbatical Officers were an all-white and all-male team. This academic year, the officers were also all-white.

Hope Worsdale was elected as the new President of the SU, winning 55% of the vote against Alex Bevis in the final round. Last year, Hope was the SU’s Education Officer.

In her manifesto this year, Hope focused mainly on investment in mental health, fighting for fair and affordable housing, and tackling sexual violence on campus.

Liam Jackson has been elected as Education Officer and Deputy President, winning by 60% against Behram Khan. In the coming academic year, Liam wants to ensure substantial and appropriate study spaces, and fight for a fairer and more liberated education on Campus.

Ellen Holmes was elected as Welfare Officer, winning 57% of the vote against Sara Boiten in the final round. Ellen wants to introduce themed mental health days, implement a safe taxi scheme, and an “Eat Well” campaign.

This is the third all-white Sabbatical Team in a row and we need to work proactively in direct collaboration with marginalised groups and relevant societies on campus to seek to improve things.

Hope Worsdale, Warwick SU’s President-elect

Niall Johnson was elected as Societies Officer, winning 55% of the vote against Patrick Lavery in the final round. Niall’s manifesto focused on Societies Federation made simple, rebooting halls societies, and conference funding and guidance.

“Magic” Michael Kynaston has been elected as Democracy and Development Officer. He won by 60% in the final round. In the coming academic year, Mike wants to improve on-campus eating and drinking facilities, lobby Stagecoach to replace lost bus passes and reintroduce the annual Warwick Summer Party.

Ellie Martin was elected as Sports Officer, winning by 53% of the vote against Sophie Foreman. The main points in Ellie’s manifesto were to improve diversity and inclusivity, accessibility and sport and mental wellbeing.

Emily Dunford has been elected as the next Postgraduate Officer. She was the only candidate standing, and won with 84% of the vote. Emily wants to see an SU supporting all postgraduates and prioritising postgraduate welfare.

Hope said: “Going forward, I am excited to work with the new team and I think it’s essential that we collectively reflect on the elections in terms of diversity and engagement.”

Marginalised groups

Hope also acknowledged: “This is the third all-white Sabbatical Team in a row and we need to work proactively in direct collaboration with marginalised groups and relevant societies on campus to seek to improve things.

“This needs be embedded well before the actual elections period as we are seeing imbalances reflected in the candidate nominations and not just the outcome. This has to be a priority of the team next year.”

Namir Chowdhury, the new Ethnic Minorities Officer, commented on the lack of diversity within the new Sabbatical Team: “The new Officers will do a fantastic job and they truly deserve their positions.

“But this does show a systemic and deep rooted issue, where very few candidates not just elected officers were from BME backgrounds.”

Namir added: “The SU should be a reflection of the diverse community that makes up Warwick and it’ll be my job to champion that momentum for a truly representative SU through equality of opportunity.”

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