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Week 8 will see the most contested Full Time Officer election since 2008. 22 candidates are standing for the six positions that are available.
In the contest of LUSU President, there are five candidates, the highest number of Presidential candidates since 2004 when six candidates stood.
Cross Campus LUSU Council Officer Danny McGuire, is contesting for the position against Cross Campus EWD Council Officer, Ellie Best. Wes Cosgriff, Bailrigg FM’s General Secretary, Ste Smith, current Cross Campus LUSU Campaigns Officer and Amar Mahmood, a postgraduate student, complete the line-up.
The only uncontested position is for the role of Vice President (Academic). Richard Clark, Pendle JCR Sports Secretary, is the current Cross Campus Academic Officer and is running uncontested after Elle Robinson dropped out of the election.
The highest number of candidates standing for one position is six, in the contest for Vice President (Activities). The role, which is coming to the end of its first year in exisistance, oversees the 180 clubs and societies within the Union, as well as organising the annual Roses competition against York University.
Each candidate has held different positions within the Students’ Union and different groups. Liz Ashworth is the ex-President of Women’s Rugby Club and current Social Secretary. She is contested by Richard Cadd who has been Snowboard Captain for the past two years on the Snow Sports Exec.
Also competing for the role is Rob Dickinson, who has previously held the position of Cross Campus Societies Officer, as well as being Furness President last year. The current Cross Campus Societies Officer and ex-President of the History Society, Matt Haslam, is also standing for the position.
Also running is Nick O’Malley, who ran for Vice President (Media and Communications) in last year’s election, and is on this year’s Roses Committee. Completing the six running for Vice President (Activities) is Jack Taylor, a Grizedalian Fresher, who is the current Cross Campus Sports Officer and President of the Politics, Philosophy and Religion departmental society.
There are two candidates standing for the Vice President (Equality, Welfare and Diversity) role. Grace Fitzpatrick, current Cross Campus Welfare Campaigns Officer and ex-Lonsdale JCR EWD Officer, is contesting Rosalia O’Reilly, Pendle JCR Vice President (Equality and Welfare).
Jennifer Grayson, who recently directed the Vagina Monologues, was also standing for the position of Vice President (Equality, Welfare and Diversity) but decided to withdraw her nomination during the first week of campaigning.
The role of Vice President (Events and Democracy) is contested by four candidates, after James Beedie dropped out after two days of campaigning.
Emily Blanchard had to resign as Cross Campus Elections Officer in order to stand for the role of Vice President (Events and Democracy). Parth Gautam, currently PGSA Elections Officer, is also running for the role. The final two candidates for the role are Libby Martin, who has held the roles of President of LUDans and Vice President of County College, and third year Fylde student, Khairil Zhafri.
In the contest for Vice President (Media and Communications), whose remit also includes editing SCAN newspaper, there are four candidates. The andidates include current SCAN Assistant Editor and ex-County JCR Magazine Editor, Jonnie Critchley and LA1:TV presenter, Tom Forrest. Bailrigg FM’s Station Manager, Rachel Harvey, is also campaigning for the role. The final candidate to make up the four is Rizwaan Mohammed, a second year student from Lonsdale.
Olly Trumble, current LUSU Vice President (Events and Democracy), is delighted with the number of candidates standing in the election.
Speaking to SCAN, Trumble praised the work of Democracy Officers in the build-up to the elections. He commented, “this year we have seen an increased awareness of the nomination period as a result of the work of Elections Sub Committee. They have worked incredibly hard to support the process culminating in one of the largest candidacies ever seen for Full Time Officer elections.”
Trumble also credited the nomination success to the introduction of an online nomination board that removed a large amount of administration work and “enabled Elections Officers to facilitate a bigger profile for the elections and greater logistical support for the elections process.”
In last year’s Full Time Officer elections, there was just one female candidate. This year, eight female candidates are standing for the various roles. There is also an increase in postgraduate candidates, and international students standing for election.
For each of the positions, there is the option for the voter to select ‘Re-Open Nominations’ (RON) which Trumble “actively encouraged” students to vote for if they “not convinced that any of the candidates are right for the job.”
Campaigning began on Sunday Week 6 and will take place throughout Week 7 and Week 8. All candidates will make speeches at ‘Candidates Questions’ which takes place on Tuesday Week 8 at 6.30PM in the Minor Hall. Voting opens on Wednesday Week 8 and closes at 4PM on Friday Week 8.
During Week 7 and Week 8, candidates will be participating in block runs throughout on-campus accommodation.
The results of the Full Time Officer elections, as well as the results of the NUS Delegates election, will be announced at the Sugarhouse on Friday Week 8. The event begins at 8PM and there is free entry for everyone. LA1:TV and Bailrigg will also be streaming the results live.
Full coverage of the election, including interviews with all the candidates will appear on SCAN’s website from Friday March 2 at 12PM and available across campus in a special election special.