SU Elections 2013: And the winner is…

– Melike Berker and Jamie Waller contributed to this report

The turn out for the Lincoln SU elections 2013 boasted a terrific increase from last year’s 14% to 27%, which clearly demonstrates how involved the student demographic has become in Student Union affairs.

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Newly-elected SU President Daniel Sam said that it was "a hard fought competition". Photo: John Gibbins

On Friday, March 8th, 2013, current SU President Jennine Fox revealed results for the part time and full time officers who have been fighting it out all week in a nail-biting campaign for success.

VP Welfare & Community candidate Scott McGinn said that the campaign week had been “exhausting, but the buzz around campus kept him going”. This seemed to be the general feeling in the Tower Bar from most candidates.

Well thought out campaigns were paraded round campus; cowgirls, red and green suits, polka-dot ties, banners, floating rafts and 007 impersonations to name a few. This was just a taste of the talent, creativity and imagination of some of the university’s students.

Speaking about his campaign, presidential candidate Chris Whitwood said the “best suited” idea came from his general image and “suited” his personality and manifesto.

The evening began with the revealing of part-time roles, with Connor Burton being elected as Societies Officer. He said: “It’s insane to be elected. I wasn’t expecting it, especially with a 500 vote margin!”

He continued: “I enjoyed the campaign. It was hard work. I have had five hours sleep every night this week. I got up at eight and went to bed at three in the morning every day. This year I really want to help all of the societies grow and expand.”

Trustees and NUS delegates Jack Maddock and James Loveday brought fresh faces to the Student’s Union. Being first years, they were “surprised at how supportive everyone was.”  Maddock and Loveday will work alongside current Academic Affairs officer Wesley Wells.

First year Drama and English student Linford Butler was elected as the new Officer for College of Arts, with Edward Fowles being re-elected as the Officer for School of Engineering.

Discussing his role, Fowles said “It was good to be re-elected. This year I want to help sort out the exam timetables to make sure there aren’t any problems, and to listen to whatever students want me to do.”

VP Academic Affairs candidate Loryn Jade Good said: “The best thing about the campaign was chatting to the students and finding out what they wanted from their new officers”. As she nervously awaited the result for her role, Good also had a good outlook on the campaign. She said: “What will be, will be.”

The SU team made sure that the results were revealed with as much suspense as they could conjure up. The feeling was incredible, the adrenaline was running through the veins of all the candidates, but it was clear how much of a family the competitors had become, making it a friendly atmosphere.

Despite missing out on the role, VP Academic Affairs candidate Lindsay Westgarth said: “I have become part of a big family” at the announcement of Ian Antwi’s win in her category. The winner of the campaign was happy with his achievement. After a close vote, he won with 919 votes against runner up Westgarth’s commendable 788.

Arguably the most competitive category, VP Activities was revealed after a tentative break. After two rounds of eliminations, Joseph Burt (“the guy with the beard”) won with 998 votes.

Jake Tasker, fellow VP Activities competitor was “not confident” on winning the competition as it was filled with extremely high standard candidates. However, he finished off by saying: “I have learnt so much about myself and the university.” This seemed to be the sentiment of the losing candidates.

The newly-elected Joseph Burt said: “I want to carry out everything in my manifesto. I particularly want to bring recognition to teams that are often ignored. The Women’s Netball team won a recent game 55-19, but no one knows about them.”

He continued: “I loved the campaign as well, particularly taking pictures of people with our cut-out beards.” He believed that his photography experience had given him the power base needed to win the election.

There were two landslide victories for the roles of VP Welfare & Community and President of the Student’s Union. Brian Alcorn, Welfare & Community candidate, won with his “Irish Brian” campaign.

Despite not being able to call the result before it was announced, Alcorn said that he “loved chatting to all the students”.

Whether it was his amazing policies or Irish charm that won him the election, the whole Tower Bar cheered with excitement at his win. It was clear from the outstanding result of 958 votes that Alcorn is highly regarded amongst his fellow students. Even candidates from within his category rushed to congratulate him with open arms.

Following on from his work as the officer for VP Activities, Daniel Sam was announced as the President of the University of Lincoln Student’s Union for the year 2013/14. He achieved a victory with 1377 votes, against worthy competitors Joseph Hartley and Chris Whitwood.

During his victory speech, Dan Sam commemorated his opponents in saying that they “made it a hard fought competition”. He also thanked his “hard-working team”, as his campaign “would not have had the same effect around campus”.

At the end of the night, Jennine Fox said: “The campaign has been brilliant. We’ve had a record number of candidates and voters. All the candidates played fair and there were no complaints about them.”

She added: “It has been a fun, competitive election. I have really loved my year as President. It’s gone very fast!”

SU Marketing and Communications Manager Ross Ironfield said: “We think the turnout was high because the candidates were so active. They engaged well with voters and had more presence on campus.

“The university also helped by giving us statistics on which colleges were and weren’t voting. This helped us to target certain colleges and boost the turnout.”

The results in full can be viewed on the Lincoln SU elections website.

One Response to SU Elections 2013: And the winner is…

  1. Wesley Wells says:

    I’d just like to point out that I’m also bringing a fresh-face to the NUS delegate position.