The results are in for this year’s Students’ Union election, which saw 30 candidates running to be the full-time elected representatives of the student body at Sussex.
The results for the elected positions are as follows:
President – Frida Gustafsson (re-elected)
Activities – Becky Doran
Societies and Citizenship – Aisling Murray (re-elected)
Undergraduate Education – Ella Asheri
Postgraduate Education – Sarah McIntosh (re-elected)
Welfare – May Gabriel
Turnout for the elections saw 3,346 students cast their ballot, 20.6% of the student body – a 0.8% overall increase from last year. Despite this slight increase in turnout, no full-time elected Officer reached the quota set for their position. This year continues Sussex’s failure to beat the turnout from 2015, which saw 4725 students participate in elections.
Falmer House’s Common Room saw a turnout of over one hundred students for the outcomes of the election period, which has returned an all-female team of full-time officers for the third year running.
President Gustafsson, who has been re-elected for her second term as President of the Union with 1010 votes cast in her name, told The Badger “I’m so grateful to have another year as President. I’m here for a kind and inclusive Union and I’m only just getting started.”
Newly elected Activities Officer Becky Doran won her position with 1075 votes cast, with the announcement being met with cheers and applause. Speaking to The Badger, Ms Doran said she was ‘delighted’ with the result, with her first priority to be ‘learning what it takes for students to get engaged in the SU.’
Societies and Citizenship Officer Aisling Murray appeared to be delighted in securing her second term with the Union, securing 1027 votes. Speaking to The Badger whilst surrounded by multiple supporters, Ms Murray said: ‘I’m in shock, but absolutely thrilled!’
When asked what policy she’ll tackle first in the coming academic year, Aisling was keen to announce continued plans to ensure the creation of her long-awaited housing co-operative.
Newly elected Undergraduate Education Officer Ella Asheri, elected with 962 votes, was ecstatic in the announcement of her victory. Speaking to The Badger, Ms. Asheri said: ‘It’s surreal, I’m really excited … It’s great!’ Discussing the first actions she’ll take as Undergraduate Officer, The Badger were told she’ll focus on ‘getting some groups together … getting used to the role … and then start fulfilling my promises!’
Postgraduate Officer Sarah McIntosh, who was also re-elected for her second term in this position with 815 votes, told The Badger that she felt ‘relieved, and really excited that I get to have a second year!’
Discussing her first priorities in the upcoming 2018/19 academic year, Ms McIntosh said: ‘My job hasn’t finished … I’ll pretty much be doing what I said I’ll be doing in my campaign.’
Newly elected Welfare Officer May Gabriel, who secured 709 votes in the election, told The Badger: ‘It’s amazing to be elected!’ She went on to state her first priority from the next academic year is to ‘sort out campus mental health services.’
Despite the overall jubilance of this evening’s celebrations, some students amongst the crowd did complain about the representation offered by the newly elected Union. This is the third year that the Students’ Union has been comprised of overwhelmingly white women, causing some to mock the ‘inclusive’ aims of the Students’ Union.
Another cause of upset for this evening’s results was the failure of the left-wing group, known as the ‘Red Slate’, to elect any members to any full-time positions. Despite Aisling Murray, re-elected Societies and Citizenship Officer, initially being a part of the ‘Red Slate’ group, The Badger understands that Ms. Murray was instructed to withdraw her affiliation to the group.
Overheard discussions from ‘Red Slate’ organisers heard cries of ‘the left never wins’, with SU Presidential hopeful Duncan Michie telling The Badger: ‘now is not the time to think about the election, now is the time to reflect on the sacrifices made by Anna Campbell in Afrin. An example for us all: may she rest in power.’
A full breakdown of this year’s voting can be found at https://www.sussexstudent.com/news/article/elections/results-2018/