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The close fought race for the position of VP Activities was won by former Cartmel President, Salman Rukhsar, despite difficult competition from his opposition, Katherine Windsor, Colin Mang and Andrew Ainscough. All four nominees, excluding RON, were within the small margin of 100 votes after the first round of voting, with RON initially cast aside, before Ainscough and then Mang were subsequently eliminated. The final round of voting saw Rukhsar come out on top with a final tally of 925 votes compared to Windsor’s 873.
After celebrating his victory on stage, Rukhsar spoke to SCAN about succeeding Emily Pollitt as LUSU’s new VP activities. He said “[I’m] still pretty much in shock. I didn’t think I’d win, I thought I was going out first so, yeah, it’s just pretty amazing to be honest.” Rukhsar believed that one of the ways he stood out from the other nominees was the manner in which he campaigned. “I’ll be honest I didn’t want to go for the conventional ‘I’ll spam everywhere, poster every block’ and do everything that normal candidates have done. My campaign team was really innovative and […] tried to get my manifesto out in different ways and I think that was the best way.”
It was therefore unsurprising that Rukhsar was eager to thank his campaign team for their efforts: “I’d like to thank each and every one, every person on my campaign team, they were all fantastic and they worked as hard as they could to make sure I was elected which is amazing.” The very tightly fought contest between all the nominees showed, according to Rukhsar, that “there’s a lot of opinions out there and the students are engaging with regards to that role.”
Rukhsar’s key policy areas in the run up to the campaign were “funding, communication and participation,” and he was keen to state the early impact he hopes to make in the union, particularly regarding communication. When asked what the first key thing he’d like to achieve in the role is, Rukhsar said, “The first key thing; I’d like to make sure each and every society is heard so I’d like to create a societies forum, and just get everyone to LUSU. Open up LUSU so they can actually tell us what their complaints are, so we can find ways to work and improve LUSU.”
Despite being left somewhat speechless by his victory, Rukhsar seemed pleased with the new team of Full Time Officers. “It’s definitely an interesting bunch, not much height. All the candidates were lovely and all the winners are as well.”