After another year following the fraught campaign trails of a closely contested election for Sabbatical Officers, Nouse looks forward to a well-earned rest.
Despite the majority of the part-time Officers being uncontested positions (notably, none of them were RONned), all of the future Sabbatical Officers were competitors in healthy contests, often with strong opposition. Surely the winners were, inevitably, with a record number of students voting in this year’s elections, the students’ genuine choice. The University of York has one of the highest turnouts in participation with Union elections in the country: 3,409 voters engaged with the Presidential vote, constituting around a quarter of our student population.
This year’s elections have proven that there are a number of key contributing factors to a successful election run: possessing the ‘likeability’ factor; formulating straightforward and achievable policies; running a strong yet dynamic campaign with a well-organised operational base – all these elements have appeared fundamental to victory for this year’s winners. Without one or more of these qualities, candidates in such closely rivalled competitions faced great difficulty. When voting becomes split when allegiances lie in different quarters – whether this be from past College representation, involvement in societies, potential capacity for professional accomplishment, or in preference over an aversion to opposition – candidates must be respected for their campaigning efforts where uncertainty over how people would vote lay.
As the continual campus elections rumour mill shuts down, and our reporting on the many campaigning bans cease, for two of the Sabbatical winners, the work continues. Tim Ngwena, Presidential re-elect, and Ben Humphrys, current Welfare Officer and Academic Affairs-elect, returned to their work yesterday, whilst the other four victors will join the incumbents in the YUSU Office after the summer handover. The future team, which will also include ex-College Chairs and an international representation, together holds promise in their diversity as a group despite being a notably and predominantly male set. The combination of experience and forward-thinking policies from the six new Officers will be an interesting course of development to chart, and we can only look forward to reporting on how it unfolds in the next 12 months.