Andrew McIlwraith has revealed to Nouse that he never intended to run for the position of Welfare Officer in this year’s YUSU elections.
McIlwaith said: “For someone like me who doesn’t care much about welfare, getting the position would be awful… it would be catastrophic for students.”
McIlwaith’s confirmation that he never intended to run for the position follows condemnation earlier this week, from students and opponents alike, that he was undermining the role. The quotes used by Nouse were not those of McIlwaith, but of friends posing as him at the Hockey Club’s hustings on Tuesday. This is despite claims from our reporter that McIlwaith was indeed present at the hustings and was aware that someone was posing at him.
McIlwaith said that the people impersonating him were “completely irresponsible” and that he was angry with them for their actions. He added: “Impersonating me is bang out of order.”
Peter Warner Medley, one of McIlwaith’s opponents, along with Laura Bo, said that it was “mature of him to realise” that if he gets the position it wouldn’t be conducive for either the role or student welfare. Warner-Medley added: “If he feels that he wouldn’t be able to do the job well if elected, he probably shouldn’t stay in the running for what is a really important position. I hope that having his name linked to previous quotes does not affect his future prospects.”
Bo said: “I think that Andrew’s candidacy does undermine the seriousness and the responsibility that comes with the position but, as I gather, it was his friends that put his name down for the position without having considered his wishes. This does sadden me that friends would behave so irresponsibly.”
When asked whether the stunt was intended to make a mockery of the role, McIlwraith responded that the only way he could make a mockery would be “if I actually ran”. Instead, he maintains that he has been “apathetic” and failed to run a campaign. He said that if he were to win, he would not take on the position.
This follows questions surrounding David Hansen’s Presidential campaign. Hansen confirmed to Nouse that he would not take the role if he were to win, and that his intention is to expose some of the other candidates’ policies and promises for what they are.
McIlwraith added that there has been a “bit of identity theft going on” and that he was not the one to submit his application to YUSU last week. He claimed that he had not confirmed his candidacy, as his email address wasn’t used on the form. He thinks that the people who have done this on his behalf have done it as a “social experiment” and that the race for President is a “popularity contest”.
He has now said that he will continue with his dissertation work and keep a low profile: “Essentially I’ve done nothing… I don’t really care.”
Bo added: “I think that he personally did not do anything wrong.”