Yesterday saw the return of Hustings, an event in which candidates running for the recently vacant position of Vice President for Academic Affairs had the opportunity to present their key manifesto points and answer questions. Sophie Patterson, the returning officer, confirmed this morning that Dishad Amin was automatically disqualified for not attending Hustings as it states in the rules that ‘failure to attend without permission to be excused will result in automatic disqualification’.
Amin had received a warning from Patterson after the failure to attend the candidate briefing meeting on Monday as he said he was stuck in Portsmouth. Patterson warned him to inform her if he was unable to attend Hustings but she has not heard from him since and without seeking permission, he broke the rules. This leaves voters with nine options to vote for including re-open nominations.
As it is post-exam time, the lack of students on the concourse meant that the audience mainly consisted of campaign teams at the event which ran for an hour and a half. As the returning officer, Patterson presented questions to the remaining candidates after allowing each of them a minute to cover the main reasons why they should be elected. Questions included: what the candidates opinions were on the Russell Groups proposals for tuition fees and how will they ensure equal academic representation across all campuses?
The audience were also given the opportunity to question the candidates. Billy FitzJohn, the new president asked the candidates views on affiliating with the National Union of Students. Other questions from the floor included: why candidates who didn’t run for the position last time were running this time and what aspect of the University do the candidates think they could improve in their new role except for education?
The Wessexblog spoke to Sophie Patterson to find out her views on the election so far:
This election is far different to any before as there is a strong focus on one role with so many candidates. It is nice to focus on one element in depth so for whoever gets the position next year, more people will know what they do.
Voting opened at 9am this morning and will close on Friday at midday. To Vote log onto vote.susu.org. Manifestos can be read online at www.elections.susu.org/academic