After the non-sabbatical review that recently took place in Union Council, the newly revamped Part Time Union Officer positions will be closely fought in the upcoming elections.
The furore surrounding the recent shake-up of Union Council is what some people feel have caused the amount of candidates running for the positions.
There has been a lot of attention on the new positions and the changes that have been made over the last few weeks, and although the review was passed with overwhelming support, there were several complaints about the changes.
The most contested position is the new Social and Events Chair, with three candidates running. The candidates are all current JCR Executive officers: Lonsdale JCR President Matt Windsor, Fylde JCR President James Duncan and Furness JCR Social Secretary, Stuart Walton.
Other popular positions included the International Students Officer, a role that three candidates were originally running for, before one pulled out of the race. Now left in the contest for this position are Huneeya Mazari and Ashutosh Kumar.
Student Campaigns Officer is a newly created position and one that has attracted much excitement. Originally not part of the review, an amendment made in Union Council – suggested by Helen Thompson, the Vice President of Cartmel JCR, – included this position being passed with the review.
The role has no specific remit and no single agenda, allowing the officer to help individual students run campaigns, or even other officers. This position also had three candidates sign up originally, with one pulling out before hustings, now leaving Sam Aldridge and Terrie Crawford to face Thursday’s elections.
The other new position of Communications Officer is uncontested, with Sarah Strachan being the only candidate. This position is the first part-time role to be directly related to the VP (Media & Communications).
Another new role, also affecting student media, is that of the Student Media Board Chair. Contested by only one person, Katie Jamieson, this position will play an important role in the Student Media Board, which was also newly introduced this year.
Societies have been left with one position to represent them on Union Council since the non-sabbatical review of Week Five, despite some controversy. Two people – Chris Osborn and Ben Gibbins – are running for this position in Week Eight.
Two positions from the GSA will also sit on Union Council, Post Graduate Taught Representative and Post Graduate Research Representative. The PGT Representative, Gboyega Adegbola, was elected in the Week Four GSA elections, and the role of PGR Representative, which was uncontested for the Week Four elections, will now be elected in Week Eight’s Part Time Officer elections. Mike Jenkins is the only person standing for this position.
By Stephen Ashby