A new YUSU Officer team for 2019/20 was elected last night, with the four of the five Full-Time Officer (FTO) roles being filled by women. The elections also brought something of a surprise success for Brian 'Wally' Terry, who dressed as the children's book character Wally for his campaign, and Chris Small, a joke candidate, both of whom placed second in the races for Activities' Officer and Union President respectively. The newly elected Sabbatical team for 2019/20 are Samara Jones for Union President, Maddi Cannell as Sports' President, Giang Nguyen as Academic Officer, Steph Hayle as Wellbeing Officer, and Ollie Martin as Activities' Officer.
Samara Jones , a former Alcuin President, will succeed James Durcan as Union President. The race for President was highly contested with nine candidates and RON being up for the role. It took nine rounds to elect Samara Jones with 1963 votes, exceeding the final quota of 1721.5, Chris Small came second to Jones with 1480 votes. Up until the final round it was extremely close between Jones and Small, whose manifesto pledged to "create a travellator between Morrell and Fairhurst". At one stage, in the fifth round, Small was leading Jones by 1015 to 969 votes. Tim Nguyen finished third behind Small and Jones, he was eliminated in the eighth round with 1113 votes.
The contest for Sports' President was an all-female race with Maddi Cannell winning in the third round. Cannell exceeded the final quota of 1786 by 45 votes, runner-up was Ellie Griffin with 1741 votes. Charlotte Elsy placed third and was eliminated in the second round with 1222 votes.
Second-year, Giang Nguyen was elected as the next Academic Officer. It took three rounds to elect Nguyen who exceeded the quota of 1589 votes, with 1722 votes. In this third and final round for Academic Officer, Matt Johnstone came second with 1456 votes. Daniel Brookes placed third with 1034 votes, being eliminated after the second round.
Incumbent Community and Wellbeing Officer, Steph Hayle was resoundly re-elected in the first round. Hayle exceeded the quota of 1911 by 117 votes in the first round. Jess Sawford was the runner-up with 735 vote, and Stephen Boakes third with 715.
Aside from the race for Union President, the most highly contested role was Activities' Officer. Ollie Martin will succeed Finn Judge in the role. It took five rounds to elect Martin; Brian 'Wally' Terry, who dresses up as the titular character from the children's book 'Where's Wally?', led Martin up until the final round. In the final round, Ollie Martin beat Brian 'Wally' Terry by just eight votes, in what was the closest race of the night. Oscar Bentley finished third, he was eliminated after the fifth round with 832 votes.
In the Part-Time Officer (PTO) contests: Merry Dickinson and Mark Matthews were elected as Environment and Ethics Officer, RAG Officers were won by Annie Bocock and Sam Meadows, Emily Johnsen won Volunteering Officer, the International Officers are Jessica Rendini and Sorhna Perrot, LGBTQ+ Officers were won by Gem Card and Matt Gordon, the new Mature Students' Officer is Ioana Dumitrescu, and the Womens' Officers roles were won by Ally Smith and Daisy Slate. Disabled Students' Officer, BAME Officer, and Working Class Officer had no candidates and so remain unfilled meaning that YUSU will have to hold a by-election before the new PTOs take over.
The new FTOs will assume their roles from July, while the PTOs begin at the start of summer term.
In the non-Officer contests: Felicity Maiden was elected as Faculty Rep for Sciences, Josh Mackenzie and Issac Barnett became the two new Student Trustees, and Kelly Balmer the new Policy Coordinator.
Overall, this year's YUSU elections results provided many surprises. Although the success of RON (Re-Open Nominations) that some had predicted did not materialise, the relative success of a joke candidate and a candidate who campaigned in a Wally costume came as a shock to many. The election of four women to the YUSU FTO team will be welcomed by many, it represents a reverse of the gender makeup of this year's team, and will perhaps go some way to quelling allegations of an unrepresentative YUSU.