Union Elections 2019: A Run-Through of The Student Officer and Trustee Candidates


Voting is open for the 2019 Union elections until 4PM on Friday 8th March. To vote, click here and log in. While the principal focus of the elections is always on who’ll be elected to the full-time, paid sabbatical officer roles, there are 27 other roles which are being voted upon in this election.

Here, we run through key points of all the candidates standing in the non-sabbatical officer role positions, with each candidate’s name hyperlinked to their manifesto page.

Contested Positions

Proceeding in order according to most contested and then alphabetically, we start off with the 3 candidates for International Officer. Carmen Kalumba wants to be ‘a mediator’ between international students and SUSU when it comes to feeding back their concerns and ‘promoting relevant events and activities to keep you entertained’. Dibyayan Ghosh emphasises providing financial advice to international students and getting quicker response times to their queries, ‘especially during holidays’, while Guna Govindu promises he’d be ‘transparent to both the students and university’ in the role.

As MedSoc President, Abdullah Khaled says he’d place particular emphasis on breaking the stigma of mental health, Deepika Anbu would like to increase the variety of MedSoc events including BM6 meet and greets, and Raymond Effah wants SUSU to invest in UHS common room microwaves, as well as publicising MedSoc sport results more.

In the three-way contest for RAG President, Benjamin Shaw says he wants to improve ‘the recruitment for adventures as they make up such a key part of student fundraising’, Samuel Agnew says he’s ‘focused on helping others’ and finally, Siobhan La Roche-Seeley would like to focus on a long-term campaign on homelessness in Southampton.

For Sustainability Officer, Christina Olgaard is hoping her desire to set up a ‘University Coffee Cup Scheme’ will see you elect her. However, Jonty Hackett says a vote for him is ‘a vote for someone that will lobby for hands-on change and joined-up policy’ and wants to bring in a ‘Big Clear Out’ scheme at the end of the academic year for students to donate unwanted items. Finally, Miguel Robles Florez says that if elected his main goal would be to ‘help all students to enhance their own environmental stewardship’.

Head to heads

Oliver Davis and Sophie Bennett are competing for the Athletics Union (AU) Officer role. Sophie promises to set up a ‘Mental Health in Sports’ awareness week if elected, while Oliver wants to ‘encourage more transparent and pro-active communication’ between clubs and the AU committee, particularly when it comes to the grants funding system.

Chloe King says she wants to aspire ‘to create more interactive BAME related social events throughout the year’, while Halima Jibril wants to create a more intersectional community for all BAME students if elected BAME Officer. Both candidates also emphasise the experience they can bring to the position.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Faculty Officer post is contested between Alicja Bochnacka and Guna Govindu. Alicja promises to ‘encourage lecturers to engage more with their classes’, citing it as a ‘common problem’. Guna hopes that his ‘nature of being strong at tough situations and my leadership skills can make me a good representative’.

For Intra-Mural Officer, James Franks and Juliette Nunn are your candidates. James wants to improve refereeing/umpiring and ‘minimise no-shows’, while Juliette believes ‘intramural deserves as much respect as other AU sports’ and emphasises improving intramural participation accessibility.

In the head-to-head for Performing Arts (PA) Officer, Oliver Johnson says he’d collect ‘more substantial marketing data’ to improve the way PA societies publicise their performances and emphasises society collaborations, while Peter Forbes wants to bring back the ‘cheeky bit of fun’ that was the PA inter-society quiz and to introduce an equipment sharing scheme.

Single Candidate Elections

Joel Jordan faces RON (Re-Open Nominations) for Arts and Humanities Faculty Officer, pledging to ‘fight against cuts to education and support services’. Lily McDermaid says she’d create a monthly newsletter ‘about events and developments surrounding disability’ if elected your Disability Officer, while Jiaqi Ling (Lucy) promises to take an ‘active role within Global Entrepreneurship Week activities’ if elected as Enterprise Officer.

Michael Carter promises to ‘actively promote the amazing work from the faculty’ if elected Environment and Life Sciences Faculty Officer. Rishi-Nayan Varodaria makes the ambitious pledge to ‘put on the Freshers’ Week of a lifetime’ if elected Halls Officer, while for LGBT+ Officer, Parth Pandya wants to be ‘a voice for the community’ and run regular support sessions.

Just 3 candidates are standing for the 4 Student Trustee roles, meaning each candidate must face off against RON. Nathaniel Ogunniyi promises to always be available for feedback, Ned Williams says he’d strive to ensure ‘underrepresented groups are heard and that everyone is considered equally when making trustee board decisions’ and finally, Zakaria Al Schmaly says he’d promote ‘liberal values and free speech’ if elected.

If elected Surge Radio Station Manager, William Hough promises to ‘foster stronger cross-media collaboration’. Molly Blumson for SUSUtv Station Manager says she’d bring in weekly drop-in training sessions for members and monthly creative labs. Finally, Jack Nash for The Edge Editor wants to add a new area to the publication’s website, revolving around a topical theme, to help boost output between print issues.

David Hendry wants to ‘Make UHS Great Again’ and says the Common Room ‘WILL be beautiful’ if elected UHS Officer. Rhiannon Brunt places emphasis on increasing the number of socials for volunteers if elected Union Films Cinema Manager, while Wellbeing Officer candidate Emily Whelan would raise awareness surrounding the risks of meningitis if re-elected.

For the final media society head role, but by no means the least important, Charlotte Colombo says she’d promote ‘more community engagement and field journalism’ and create a committee position for outreach of the publication, if elected Wessex Scene Editor. For Women’s Officer, Brodie Brown wants more services for trans women on campus and to emphasise mental health all year. Finally, as part of her emphasis on mental health, Sarah Willcocks wants therapy dogs at WSA if elected WSA Welfare Officer.

No candidates standing

The following positions had no candidates stand and so aren’t part of elections this time:

  • Avenue Officer
  • Boldrewood Officer
  • Joint Honours Officer
  • Media Officer
  • NOCS Officer
  • Sports Participation Officer
  • Volunteering and Fundraising Officer
  • Student Trustee position number 4

Editor 2018-19 | International Editor 2017/18. Final year Modern History and Politics student from Bedford. Drinks far too much tea for his own good.

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