And the results are in
And the results are in…
The dust has settled, and the results are out.
At the beginning of the month we saw hundreds of campaigners and volunteers engaging thousands of students in one of the real highlights of the year.
Facebook has recently been awash with long statuses of congratulations and celebration, so perhaps it’s now the time for mine, in the form of an elections summary blog.
If its too long, skip to the end to see the results.
A more detailed report on this year’s elections will be produced by elections committee in the coming months, which will be presented at the April Union Council, but for now here are a few thoughts and results.
A New Shape for Elections
It all started with the phrase “Elections at SUSU are changing”. In this blog the idea was introduced of pulling the major cross campus elections all into a single 2 week time-frame. After this blog was posted there was a great deal of discussion, and debate, until finally the timetable for this year’s elections was approved by Union Council.
This was a new way of doing things, with a degree of uncertainty, but we ultimately agreed to try this out as an attempt to tackle the growing voter fatigue felt by too many elections across the year, and importantly the worrying decline in the mandate of our Student Leader roles attracting in some cases votes in the single figures. Compared to the thousands of votes Sabbatical officers were receiving this really had to change
Alongside this we had conducted a review of our committee structures, which led to a new structure for how we divide up our activity as a Union, and also to how we divide our Sabbatical roles/student officer teams. This new zones structure gave a new way to shape elections. The aim was to develop a culture where people voted for what they cared about, and for what would impact on their experience, rather than encouraging voting for everyone because you can.
In order to support voters in engaging with far more positions we introduced opportunities for students to having more time to learn about the positions and candidates. The elections were spread across two weeks, one for online campaigning, and one for physical campaigning. Alongside the campaigning and more general marketing we introduced two new systems, eChoice and ePositions. These allowed you to explore which positions you should vote for based on your interests, and which candidates most agreed with your points of view.
This year saw 6046 students participating in the elections, which although lower than last year, we still managed to get 26% of all students voting, which is around 10% above the national average.
For me the most exciting part of these elections was how many more positions people got involved in voting in. Previously people would vote for a few of the Sabbatical positions, with a relatively small number of students voting in the student leader elections.
I’m pleased to say that this year we saw students vote on average in over 8 different positions, which means that students cast over 51,000 votes.
In particular we saw huge increases in the number of students voting for our student leader positions, with roles like JCRs officer moving from a few hundred votes to well over 1500, or faculty officers going from single to treble figures, this outstanding rise in votes is the councillor positions, receiving over 1600 votes.
This years winners were as follows:
Union President – David Gilani
Student Trustees – Andreas Day & Marcus Burton (2 spaces vacant)
VP Democracy & Creative Industries – David Martin
Performing Arts – Laura Ellis
Student Groups – James Hemingway
Surge Radio Station Manager – Jamie Barker
SUSUtv Station Manager – Catherine Darcy
The Edge Editor – Megan Downing
Union Films Cinema Manager – Nick Tinsley
Wessex Scene Editor – Sam Everard
VP Education – David Mondoza-Wolfson
Business & Law – Jack Bridgen
Engineering & Environment – Shruti Verma
Health Sciences – Katy Elliot
Humanities – Lawrence Smith
Medicine – Alex Oldman
Natural & Environmental – Kane Hands
Physical & Applied Sciences – Oli Bills
Social & Human Sciences – Alex Bees
VP Engagement – Claire Gilbert
RAG Officer – Alice Gray
CV Officer – Vacant
VP Sports Development – Evan Whyte
Sports Participation Officer – Adam Proudley
AU Officer – Vacant
VP Student Communities – Oli Coles
International – Jawad Bhatti
JCRs – David Gunns
NOC Officer – Henry Pearson
Postgrad Research – Alex Barbu
SGH Officer – Sohaib Rafai
VP Welfare – Rebecca Thomas
Equality & Diversity Officer – Thomas Gleeson
Ethical & Environmental Officer – Charlotte Hollands
Nightline Officer – Laura Mason
Councillors – Grace Cameron, Rowanna Baker, Roberto Gregoratti, Adam Proudley, Oli Bills, Samantha Gardiner, Alex Robinson, Emma Miles, Sophie Van Eetvelt
After all the hard work that went into the elections period its fitting to include a brief thanks to the student media, and all the volunteers who put in a huge amount of effort to make these some of the best elections that I’ve certainly seen during my time at Southampton.
Below are some links to some of the great articles, shows, and videos which helped bring elections alive whether you were on campus or not, culminating in the fitting grand finale that is elections night live.
The Next few Months
There is a definite excitement in the air for all the new officers, and plenty of big idea, however there is still plenty of work left to do for this year, and I’m looking forward to working with all of this year’s officers to ensure that they are able to leave a lasting impact during their time at SUSU