Victory for Tully as Students’ Union elections see huge turnout

10 March 2011

The results of the Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) elections were announced last night.

Gerard Tully was announced President for 2011-12, with Adam Booth in second place. President-elect Tully said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic. It’s unbelievable.” However, he recognised that he faces a challenge, saying, “70 per cent of students haven’t voted. We need to make sure we’re communicating. CUSU can do better, and I hope CUSU will do better.”

Taz Rasul won the position of Access Officer over three other contenders, but was conspicuous in her failure to show up to the count.

Last week, Rasul faced criticism from former Access Officer Joe Farish for a website she runs offering students help with their personal statements. Farish argued that such websites actually damage access, saying, “Students should be encouraged to ensure that their personal statement is just that – personal.”

Ben Taylor, who ran against her for the position, and was present during the evening for its entirety, said: “I’m very disappointed. I’d like to think my experience would have been valuable.”

Presidential runner-up Booth, who ran a campaign against cuts to higher education, remained upbeat, not ruling out a return to the campaign trail next year. He added “Don’t mourn – organise. Let’s get out tomorrow for the Save Our Bursaries protest.” Supporter Liam McNulty said: “This is the best vote for a Trotskyist candidate in Cambridge for a long time.”

4211 people voted in the elections, the second highest turnout on record. Outgoing President Rahul Mansigani said: “I’m very, very excited by the high turnout this year. It shows a much higher engagement with CUSU, something we have campaigned for. Congratulations to all elected. I’m really pleased that there has been such a diverse group of candidates.”

The race for Student Support officer was the most exciting of the night, with three candidates within nine votes of one another. Rosa O’Neill was elected, narrowly beating Faye Rolfe and Heidi Aho. O’Neill said: “I’m surprised and particularly sorry that Faye didn’t get it. It will be a challenge but I love the other candidates and it’s going to be so much fun. I’ve been pounding the streets – that vote I canvassed in Sainsbury’s probably did it!”

Harriet Flowers was elected Coordinator, Ruth Graham was elected Women’s Officer, and Morgan Wild was elected Education Officer. Liv Watson was elected Graduate Union President.

Jen Mills – TCS Reporter

Image: Devon Buchanan