YUSU RECEIVED 93 nominees for positions in this year’s elections, more than doubling the number from 2017. All bar two of the Part Time Officer (PTO) positions and Non-Officer positions were contested, again an improvement on last year. The current official YUSU list has 67 candidates, although several candidates on the final list have informed Nouse that they have dropped out. Higher numbers of voters come with cash incentives, with every 1000 votes cast resulting in 10p off house pints in YUSU, and a 50p donation from the University for each voter. 40p of this goes to equal access scholarships, and 10p to the YUSU RAG charities IDAS and Action for Children.
A position of particular interest this year is that of Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME), as the number of first degree home entrants to the University has increased from 8.7 per cent to 13.4 per cent, indicating that the officer for this position will be serving a greater population than in the past. Every Full Time Officer (FTO) role was contested, with eight initial nominations for President, although this has now dropped. The only PTO position not initially contested was LGBTQ Officer, although Nouse has since been made aware that more positions are now uncontested. This huge increase in overall initial nominations is a boost from the 36 nominations in 2017, possibly due to not having to initially submit a manifesto this year.
YUSU President Alex Urquhart has been very pleased with this outcome, telling Nouse: “We set ourselves a target of increasing the number and diversity of candidates this year so we’re happy with how the nomination period has gone. We believe the elections and YUSU will be strengthened by the range and diversity of voices, lived experiences and ideas of the candidates. This year we have targeted our communications more comprehensively – through departments, student networks, student groups, colleges and central University – to inspire students to put themselves forward. We have also developed brilliant new marketing aimed at getting across that Officer roles are political and not just about employability. Through our new tagline: ‘The Union Belongs to You’, we also wanted to get across a sense of community, proactive participation and ownership.