Election Night — hugs, tears and plenty of beers

The Linc’s special reporters bring you highlights and impressions from the SU Results event on Friday, March 6 2009 in the Tower Bar.

The Linc’s exclusive unseen photos from the SU Elections:

The results (winners are highlighted)


SU Elections 2009 Final Results – Get more Business Documents

Rob Wells on the election of the President

Similar to many celebrities, most of the major candidates in this year’s SU elections turned up late. Well, not late, but they were cutting things fairly close. Presidential candidate James Mason, a former part-time SU officer who was suspected to do the worst in the vote, was the first on the scene, perhaps honouring his campaign promise to be more visible on campus.

Q: How confident do you feel going into the elections?

A: I don’t want to predict. Everyone has done their best. The students will make the decision they think is best.

Oozing humility was probably a safe strategy, as when Mason was elected as a part-time officer he gained just 87 votes — the least of all the candidates running.

Daniel Hutchinson, the outgoing SU president, was just as neutral as Mason was humble. He refused to state even the smallest preference for any of the candidates aiming to succeed him in the job. Following the results he became slightly more verbose.

Q: What do you think of Chris Charnley, your newly-elected successor?

A: I think he has what it takes to be president.

Speaking about his own role, he confined himself to the contradictory, “I’ll be glad to leave but I’ll also be sad.”

The shock of the night, was Tom Haughton who was formerly the VP for Welfare and Liaison, before losing the job when he ran for re-election last year, coming second before last in the presidential vote. Aside from Tom Haughton left behind in the presidential election (though few doubted that Chris Charnley would win it), tonight went just as you’d expect it: tears — check; unopposed paid positions — check; stupidly low turnout — check. Another year, another SU election.

Q: Are you surprised that you did the worst?

A: Yeah, it is surprising. I’m a little surprised RON [re-open nominations] didn’t beat me. I knew it was a long shot.

Q: Daniel Hutchinson said he respected your decision to run as a post-graduate student, any comments about that?

A: Running as a post-graduate doesn’t happen very often. I’m on a course with three people, whereas most of the candidates have hundreds, just on their course. I’m quite pleased that some students voted for me. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

Rob Wells on the election of the Societies Officer

Naturally, it wouldn’t be an SU election if someone didn’t run alone. This year the honour went to Kayleigh Valentine, who walked straight into a £17,500 job.

Q: Are you surprised that no-one else ran for the Societies and Activities position?

A: I know one of the girls who was [going to stand] but changed her mind at the last minute. A lot of people want things to change but people do not want [to do it themselves].

Q: A lot of the societies have been complaining about the funding they’ve received, what are you going to do about it now you’re in the job?

A: I think societies need to start making their own money not just relying [on the union].

Elizabeth Fish on the election of the Media and Communications Officer

Despite being over the moon and tearful at the same time, after a call to her partner and parents, the winner of Media and Communications Officer 09/10, Emma Devine, stopped by to talk about the future.

Q: How do you feel?

A: Excited, a little bit shaky, but excited. It feels amazing to be elected. I’m not going to lie, I’ve been preparing for this for the last year, working closely with Dan Windross (08/09 Media and Communications officer) and shadowing him. Yeah, I’m very, very happy.

Q: Be honest, did you think you’d win?

A: I did feel confident but then Hayley Cook was a very strong candidate. It was close. So thank you to those very last people I saw outside the library voting for me!

Q: What will you do first as Media and Communications Officer?

A: Other than all the training that we’ll have to go through, the first thing will be looking at the academic calendar. Then, try to organise a rota so I can go to every campus on a regular basis in order to get feedback and meet the students.

Q: Anything you are looking forward to?

A: I’m looking forward to delivering what I promised the students, meeting them, and looking forward to the next year really.

Q: And not looking forward to?

A: I think everything is going to be a challenge. Though I think it will be a good challenge, as I can put my degree to use! The early mornings and late nights aren’t going to be too great but I’ll work round that.

Q: What would you like to say to the people that voted for you?

A: Thank you and I was right… every vote does matter!

Shane Croucher on the election of the VP Education and Academic Affairs Officer

The contest for the position of Vice President of Education and Academic Affairs ended in victory for Kayleigh Turner. Turner took 547 votes whilst her opponent, Ben Lincoln, took 354. Leading right up to the announcements, the atmosphere was tense.

There were ripples of support for both candidates, so the possibility of a close outcome perpetuated the anxiety. However, with a difference of nearly 200 votes, Turner was a comfortable winner. Lincoln left fairly quickly, while Turner bounced around; covering well-wishers with tears and cuddles.

Turner was keen to emphasise that change is happening and that it is a slow process. She had made “long-term plans” and seemed relieved that she could now continue them, without the prospect of handing someone else the reigns.

All that remains is to see if she can fulfil her manifesto promises in the forthcoming year.

Sara Shah on the election of AU Student Officers

The night started off quietly at the Tower Bar, but quickly filled up with eager students awaiting the SU results. Just before 8pm, it was announced that the results will be reported within 5 minutes. However, 5 minutes overran to 20 minutes before anything was mentioned. A few SU runners were late to the event like Gloria Dei and Brigitte Kabangue. However, they made it in time to hear their fate.

One by one the results for the different positions were announced, with who won the least votes being declared first. Candidates’ expressions were priceless and filled with emotion. However, some were just playing up on their “tears”. Hugs and “oh my gods” were repeated throughout the announcements, with all the winning candidates being pulled side to side for interviews and congratulations.

It was reported that nearly half of the audience were shocked about some of the losing candidates. The atmosphere at first was filled with tension, but this eased as the results were announced. Gloria Dei who had won her place as part-time SU cried with joy but also cried for those who had lost as it came a big shock to her. Brigitte Kabangue was seen to be upset and was comforted by a friend.

There’s no doubt a solemn tone will be in the air for those who did not win their places. Overall, those who did lose kept themselves together and were happy to congratulate those who had won. The room wasn’t crowded; but the room was filled up. There were only silent moments when the results were being read aloud. However, throughout the evening, every person’s voice in the room was heard continuously. Overall, the event itself went well minus a few issues.

Harry Lincoln on the election of Student Officers

On reflection it got off to a bad start at the SU elections 2009. Nearly everyone was late and it looked baron until about 7.30. It picked up and everybody was, more importantly, happy to comment.

Firstly, prompt and ready for the off, Emily Gough won her position in the end for part time student officer. She had this to say about the past and present SU funding. I also spoke to Gloria Dei, Part Time AU officer about how she is going to manage things from now on.

Q: Are you looking forward to your new position?

A: It will be interesting to see how the officers settle into their own. I’m more interested in the taking part and that is all that I care about right now.

I finally spoke to Ben Arrowsmith Welfare and Liaison candidate about how he would implement campaigns into getting his way;

Q: There is a great emphasis in your manifesto about recycling. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is a bit old-hat to be talking about that when there are clearly problems in other student villages, like the Junxion and Pavilions. What are you planning to do about this ‘real’ problem?

A: Firstly, write to the council expressing the problem and request that they grant us funding in relation to that. You’re right; it is a problem and it needs to be addressed. We need to act greener and get the word out. It is a dire effort at the moment and it is poorly advertised by the SU and if I get elected I hope to change that immediately. I hope that, even if it isn’t me who gets in, it is a growing problem and it needs to be addressed.

A successful night all round. Fears and Tears and rightly so; winning statistics were tight and posses were rowdy. Let’s hope that the newly appointed staff can carry that same enthusiasm through in the upcoming months.

You can review our live coverage module here.

Reporting by Harry Lincoln, Shane Croucher, Elizabeth Fish, Sara Shah — The Linc | Rob Wells, Sam Doohan — Special Correspondents | Photography by Sam Cox, The Linc, Sam Fisher, Scott Dean, Dan Dengate

2 Responses to Election Night — hugs, tears and plenty of beers

  1. Kayleigh says:

    Congratulations to our new President, may he lead us to the top.

  2. Loren says:

    Friday night was amazing. The new team is fantastic. Im a little sad I won’t be here next year to experience the brand new SU! Well done to all!