Many people have criticised the lack of candidates in the Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) elections this year and that has led to a lower turnout. CUSU’s critics fail to mention that the job of a sabbatical officer is extremely hard work and they get very little in return – a low salary and little appreciation. The candidates that have put themselves forward have all done so because they are dedicated to the improvement of Cambridge students’ lives.
The count was an exciting event as all three contested elections could have gone either way. Joe Farish, a regular in this column, assumed the role of TV presenter for the live streaming on the CUSU website sparking rumours that he may be applying to work for Fox News. Avid followers were known to include Adam Colligan, former CUSU Coordinator watching from across the pond. For those who read my blog on the online debate earlier this week, Returning Officer, Gerard Tully, told The Cambridge Student TCS) that his hair will be cut soon after the end of term.
In the early hours of this morning, it was announced that Rahul Mansigani had been elected CUSU President. All the candidates devoted a lot of time to attending hustings and you could tell that the result meant a lot to Mansigani. Beccy Talmy ran an impassioned campaign to get students involved in CUSU, but was beaten by former Robinson JCR President, Rahul Mansigani. Talmy has done a huge amount for CUSU and will be missed next year.
The race for Women’s Officer was the closest of the three. The 1st preference paper ballots were tied at 239 each and it took the online votes to separate the candidates by a margin of 8 votes. The result was harsh on Anna Goulding who had run a principled campaign and without doubt highlighted important Women’s Union campaigns. Maria Helmling surprised many by beating Luke Hawksbee by a considerable margin in the contest for Education officer.
It wouldn’t be Spoiling the Ballot if there weren’t rumours about elections. Mansigani will be standing next week to be a student member of University Council – the University still doesn’t allow the CUSU President to automatically sit on the Council. Andy McGowan and Chris Lillycrop both refused to comment on whether they would seek second terms, but Lydia Green has ruled out running for anything. For the rest, you’ll have to wait until next year.
The views expressed in this article are not the opinions of CUSU. Comments expressed in this article are the opinions of individuals, and not of The Cambridge Student.