The results are in for the latest round of university-wide elections, electing new Part-Time Officers (PTOs) for York’s liberation networks, as well as two new faculty representatives.
Despite record participation in YUSU’s general election earlier in the term, three PTO positions featured no candidates running at all. This by-election was more competitive. Every race had multiple choices for election, excepting the competition for Disabled Students Officer. The by-election’s Deputy Returning Officer commented that there was ‘an array of interesting ideas put forward’ and congratulated all candidates on ‘contributing to a vibrant and fair election.’
The Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) election featured the highest turnout, with 332 ballots cast in total. Following the elimination of the re-open nominations (RON) campaign from the first round and subsequent redistribution of votes, Karla and Zainab were elected as the new PTOs, with a small margin of 15 against their opponent. The pair aim to improve anonymous accessibility of BAME students to the wellbeing networks, and to information at the university. Furthermore, they intend to lobby departments through the Britain-wide ‘why is my curriculum white?’ campaign to push for more BAME academics, and a less ‘eurocentric’ curriculum.
The race for the position of Disabled Students Officer received the second highest turnout, despite there being only one option in the race beyond RON. Elana Greaves and Victoria Cornford were elected, and as students with extensive prior experience in the university Disabled Student Network (DSN,) aim to promote the existing socials and services provided by the DSN. Furthermore, they will encourage students to run as Disability Reps in York’s colleges, where currently, five of the nine positions are vacant.
Following a second-round elimination of Emilia Berenyi, the new position of Working Class and Social Mobility Officer has been filled by Courtney Smith and Joel Stasiuk. Courtney has experience as President of the university literature society whilst Joel worked for benefits advocacy and mental health charities before he came to university. They aim to improve university financial assistance to address ‘hidden costs’ in courses, as well as starting drop-in sessions for students seeking financial advice. They will continue the ‘York has class’ conference started by the previous PTO.
York students also elected new Faculty Reps this month. Second-year Philosophy student Camilla Pederiva narrowly beat current English Departmental Rep Eloise McMinn Mitchell to become the new Arts and Humanities Faculties Rep. Camilla intends to promote reading weeks, and to encourage academics to hold multiple ‘office hour’ sessions to increase availability to students. She would also like to review the current ‘remarking’ process to put in place a more accessible and transparent system.
The final race, for Social Sciences Rep, was won relatively cleanly by Zsofia Majer, a first-year studying Politics and International Relations. Zsofia will increase awareness of existing student resources as well as improving the feedback system students have for raising concerns about the department.
The by-elections continued the trend during the general election of increased female representation, with a woman elected to every role. The competition in this election will likely serve as a relief to those concerned about the lack of candidates for PTOs: the newly-elected Part-Time Officers will take over from the previous year’s representatives at the start of next term. With the end of this election cycle, applications to become Departmental Rep are now open, and the deadline for submission is Friday the 26th April.
To see a more detailed breakdown of the election results, see a more detailed summary of ballot results here.