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Natalie Sutcliffe, former President of Lancaster University netball team, was elected as VP (Activities) after winning a close contest against her four rival candidates: Nicholas Barton, Hanaa Ashraf, Laura Langton and Liam Hampton.
Sutcliffe won by 130 votes to replace current VP (Activities) Salman Rukhsar. Speaking to SCAN after results were announced, Sutcliffe said she was unsurprisingly ecstatic with the result. “[I’m] over the moon. So much time and effort goes into those two weeks so it’s unreal. The relief is one thing but the joy is another and it’s just a bit overwhelming at the moment. I just need to calm down but I’m absolutely ecstatic.”
She said that the result was a complete surprise as her fellow nominees all could have been elected for the position. When asked if she expected to win she replied, “not a clue. I had a feeling it was going to be down to the last one like it was just because each of the five of us had something so different about us and wanted to bring something different to the role – I just thought this could go any way.”
Although she didn’t see anything that specifically lifted her above her fellow candidates, Sutcliffe believes her experience and honesty when speaking to students was vital to her getting elected as an officer. “I have given it all I’ve got over these last two weeks and it’s just that I hope people understand the experience I have gained in my three years here as being President of the netball club and being on the Roses Exec is enough for me to carry this through as a full-time role and really do [the role] justice.
“The feedback I got back from a lot of people was just how honest I was. They said they liked the fact that I was being quite realistic and honest about things and not trying to tackle everything in a year and being more down to earth about what can realistically be achieved.”
Despite being elected in Lent Term Sutcliffe will only begin her duties after Summer Term, with two of the VP (Activities)’s key responsibilities, Roses and Grad Ball, taking place in the meantime. “I’m hoping to watch and learn really for Grad Ball and Roses,” Sutcliffe continued. “ I absolutely loved Roses at home because my first Roses was away and compared to Roses at home it was a completely different experience … but I want to keep that buzz alive”.
In terms of what her first priority in the role will be, Sutcliffe says that it will be ensuring that all the elected officers work as a team for the student body. “I think first priority is getting to know the guys that got the positions. I think for me it’s really important the six of us work as a unit and with each other rather than against each other. I think a lot of our ideas this year cross-over which is really nice so that the six of us will hopefully work on a lot of that together.”
In a year’s time a whole new group of officers will be getting elected, so what does Sutcliffe hope to have achieved in the role by then? “I’m hoping to have maintained the funding that we’ve got this year, I’m hoping that we’ve had a successful year away for Roses in York and I’ll nearly be holding the trophy for us at home here. Really, for me, my personal goal is to give everything one hundred percent”.