Cambridge Student Union Election Results Announced

Louis Mian 5 March 2021
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The results of the Cambridge Student Union elections were announced yesterday (4th March). Most notably, Zak Coleman has been elected Undergraduate President, while Anjum Nahar will be Postgraduate President next year.

In these elections a Single Transferable Vote system was used, meaning that to win a candidate had to reach a quota of 50%+1 of all votes cast. To begin with, all first preference votes were counted. If following this, no candidate had reached the quota, the candidate that came last was eliminated and the second preferences of those who voted for them were redistributed. This process continued until somebody reached the quota.

Zak Coleman, a third-year HSPS student at Jesus College, who has previously served as JCSU’s Environmental and Ethical Affairs Officer, has promised to campaign for ‘bold climate action’ when UG President. Coleman received 1542 votes, compared to runner-up Allison O’Malley Graham’s 1439.

Coleman will be joined at the head of next year’s SU by the PG President-elect Anjum Nahar, who beat Jenny Ward George by 1719 votes to 1054. Nahar, who is currently co-chair of the SU’s Ethical Affairs committee, aims to lobby ‘the university to cut its extensive links with both fossil fuel and extractive mining industries’ and to work ‘to abolish the postgraduate application fee’.

The election for the Welfare and Community Officer couldn’t have been closer this year. Ben Dalitz received 1612 first preference votes, while Ewan Hawkins received 1604. After the second preferences of those who voted firstly for Re-open Nominations were distributed to the two candidates, they were tied on 1633. Dalitz, who has pledged to ‘tackle excessive workloads and support plans to introduce a reading week’ as well as to ‘campaign for the collegiate University to cut all ties with the fossil fuel industry’, was thus elected to the role due to winning narrowly on first preference votes.

The Chair of the Cambridge University Liberal Association, Freddie Poser, has been elected University Councillor for the second year running, gaining support from 1432 students (compared to 1304 who voted for Charli Hendy).

Next year’s PG Access, Education, and Participation Officer will be Amelia Jabry, who ran unopposed, while the UG AEP Officer election was won by Zaynab Ahmed. Ahmed was elected after the first round of voting, receiving 1991 votes compared to Class Act Campaign Vice President Alex Roberts’ 1034. Ahmed has previously served as the undergraduate academic rep for the Classics Faculty and has pledged to campaign for lecture recordings to be made standard practice once in-person teaching returns.

Tara Choudhury, who has been active in the Cambridge Rent Strike group, has been elected BME Officer. Choudhury has explained that she wants ‘to develop a culture at Cambridge that not only supports BME students, but celebrates us and our contributions’.

Anna Ward has been elected Disabled Students’ Officer, with 393 votes compared to Robin Denham’s 203 and Peter Jonathan Lucas’ 55. An MML finalist at Emmanuel, Ward has argued that ‘we need to overhaul the way we look at assessments’ and that ‘the DRC needs increased funding and structural change’.

Meanwhile, following uncontested elections, Milo Eyre-Morgan has been elected Women’s Officer and Elliot Aitken will be the next Double Time Officer.

For this year’s elections, the Cambridge University Labour Club (CULC) decided not to endorse any candidates. CULC stated that they made this decision because ‘the candidates (generally) share similar stances on issues relevant to students, and issues that are important to us.’ The Labour Club therefore rather vaguely recommended ‘voting for candidates who share views that are inclined towards the Labour Party’.

It also seems that the Cambridge University Conservative Association (CUCA) decided not to endorse any candidates for this year’s elections.

The Cambridge University Liberal Association (CULA), on the other hand, decided to endorse four candidates for this year’s elections, two of whom were elected, Zak Coleman and Freddie Poser, while two were not, Alex Roberts and Jenny Ward George. While Poser sits on CULA’s executive committee, he did not take part in the vote deciding who the Association would be endorsing.

The full election results can be viewed here.