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Joel Pullan was elected LUSU President during Full Time Officer elections results night at The Sugarhouse on Friday Week 8, with a resounding victory.
After just one round of voting, Pullan received 50% of the vote, with no other candidate making it past 400 votes. Matt Jones was the closest, with 384 votes, and just two votes separating him from third-placed Adam Harrison-Henshall.
The other elected officers were Emily Pollitt for Vice President (Activities) after a lengthy five rounds of voting, seeing Dave Nelson eventually come in second. Current Vice President(Media & Communicatoins), Rachel Harvey, beat rival Jordan Finneran in just one round for the new position of Vice President (Campaigns & Communications). Joe O’Neill beat Ellie Lawrence and ex-Bowland President Daniel-Sean Huisman after two rounds to the position of Vice President (Education), while three rounds saw Tom Fox victorious for Vice President (Welfare & Commu- nity). Completing the new Full Time Officer team, Laurence Pullan – brother of Joel – was elected to the new position of Vice President (Union Development) after a single round.
For NUS Delegate, Laurence Pullan, Charlie Edwards, and Michael Palmer were elected, beating Sam Hale and current Vice President (Academic) Richard Clark.
The atmosphere inside The Sugarhouse was one of celebration. Candidates had to endure a much longer period of being able to do nothing – voting closed at midday rather than 4pm, and results were announced at the later than usual time of 10:30pm.
Voting turnout was lower than previous years, with just 2366 students – 19.7% of the student population at Lancaster – voting in the contest of LUSU President.
Rachel Harvey, current Vice Pres- ident (Media & Communications), who has been elected Vice President (Campaigns & Communications), spoke to SCAN about her thoughts on the reduced turnout. She said: “I think it was worse than last year. I think this is due to the lack of enthusiasm around campaigns rather than actually increasing the knowledge of elections in terms of what it is. I don’t really think it is to do with any lack of publicity around elections, possibly the attitude around campaigning.”
There were a number of changes to the structure of the elections this year. One of the most noticeable was the lengthening of the nominations period – the time in which candi- dates actually put their names forward – from one week to two.
On this, Harvey felt it impacted on this attitude around campaigning that she previously referred to. She told SCAN: “It made the reality of campaigning have a bit less impact on candidates, because they sign their name up so long before that perhaps they almost forgot about it and developed other priorities.”
Patrick Somervell, Bowland College President, told SCAN his thoughts after results night. He said: “I am looking forward to working with the new FTOs. I think they can all have a great deal of input into student life and I hope myself and other students can help them out in any way possible. Sadly I wasn’t at the results night, but I had an interesting new perspective as I was a guest on LA1:TV’s results show.”
While SCAN was unable to obtain an exact breakdown of specific College voting turnout ahead of going to print, it was clear that Graduate College had the lowest overall turnout with a single percentage figure. Lonsdale College was second last, with a turnout of 17% going into the final day of voting. Cartmel College were looking to have the highest voter turnout; Joel Pullan, the winning LUSU President candidate who won overwhelmingly, was ex- Cartmel College President. On Graduate’s low turnout, Harvey said: “I think Graduates don’t really think it affects them because they are only here for a short time and perhaps aren’t aware of the need to vote”