Adam is on a simple mission to discuss OUSU democracy, but I don’t think he’s going to get many votes, and has failed to show his ability to be a student representative. This leaves me torn between Becky and Will. Becky has shone in hustings and manifesto, and his clearly a communicator who can present student concerns well. I also have confidence in Will’s ability to represent on the University stage, and am especially supportive of his long term strategic outlook reflected in his Minimum Expectations Charter.
My Vote: Im genuinely torn between Becky and Will. I’m going to see how they perform in the next few days of campaigning before I vote. Someone who can hack students well, can hack University Council well.
My Prediction: At the moment, I’m tentatively predicting a win for Will Obeney, but only because he has a larger slate and therefore greater potential to get the message out. If they fail to mobilise, expect me to reconsider. Whatever happens, it’s going to be close – Louis Trup’s email should get a few hundred more people to vote, and if they choose off the manifestos and videos, they’ll be in the bank for Becky.
Vice President (Access and Academic Affairs)
Eden has shown her commitment to this job by bringing light to the previously overlooked issue of dropout from flagged offer-holders. Flora is strong on access issues and has a longstanding commitment to that cause. Greg is a breath of fresh air coming at this from a different angle, and as an independent candidate – plus I love the fact he already reads Education Committee minutes. Cat’s manifesto, while offering no revolutionary new ideas, seems relatively well grounded, and she performed well in hustings. The fact is, they’d all do a good job.
My Vote: They’ve all shown their devotion to this area of work, and would do a good job, but for me Cat has shone above the rest in the past few weeks – of all the candidates she gives me the most confidence of being an effective student representative on the 30+ committees this position involves.
My Prediction: At the moment we have no idea what the ballot paper will look like, and this makes a huge difference in how well a slate is able to line (if you want to know more about this, message me, I don’t want to bore everyone!). If it’s like last year, it won’t induce people to automatically line for an entire slate. It is because of this, and because Flora didn’t do especially well in hustings, or on my radio show (which SO many people listen to) that I’m not predicting for Flora (For Oxford slate) even though she’s on the same team as Will Obeney (For Oxford’s Presidential candidate). If TeamABC have enough activists, Cat will take this. However we shouldn’t completely dismiss Greg Auger, his support from the Christian Union could bring about a great deal of votes, and Eden’s Right to Education slate should be able to put a great deal of attention into her race, with them having so many unopposed candidates.
Vice President (Graduates)
My Vote: Danny has raised some interesting issues in this election that haven’t been really discussed before, however knowing Nick as a friend (#ConflictOfInterest), I know that he completely grasps the necessary issues, knows how to steer a solution through the University, and has the necessary experience to do well in this role. Nick’s got my vote.
My Prediction: Nick’s For Oxford slate, comprising a significant Graduate cohort, will overcome Danny’s MCR Presidential connections, giving Mr Cooper victory.
Vice President (Welfare and Equal Opportunities), Vice President (Women), Vice President (Charities and Community)
My Prediction: Ali, Lucy, and Emily will all defeat RON (they’re uncontested and not incompetent)
My Vote: I will be giving a preference to both Eden Tanner (For Oxford) and James Elliott (Right to Education). They have both shown themselves to be supporters of student democracy, and good governance. They have been committed Officers of OUSU, they know how it works, and I trust them to make the serious decisions associated with the position which involves taking legal responsibility for the organisation.
I will not, however, be giving a preference to Will Neaverson. I’ve known Will for a while now, indeed I was one of the people that got him involved with OUSU. I would say he was a friend (I’m not sure anymore), but that doesn’t come before the needs of my Student Union. The fact is I don’t believe he is a fit and proper person to be legally responsible for OUSU. His Scrutiny Report from Trinity Term shows that he has achieved very little in his time as Common Room Support Officer – indeed the committee said that he should “consider his position”. On top of this, he was behind the flagrant breach of electoral regulations in last year’s OUSU election, where he ripped off a flashy website to help support his slate. I also don’t think his manifesto points stack up – he claims to have ‘campaigned for and won a £400,000 uplift in OUSU’s funding’. I’m not sure how that was possible, as the work was done by Presidents dating back to Martha Mackenzie. I see no evidence he did any active campaigning for it. He’s failed to do the job he already has, he seriously cheated in our elections last year, and at times has failed to attend important meetings of the Executive and Council. He’s not getting my vote, and I don’t think he deserves yours.
My Vote: To be honest, I am left uninspired by the 5 candidates this year. The three that bothered to come to hustings were unable to name the date of NUS Conference itself, and most of the manifestos don’t seem to have been written by people who truly grasp what the positions is about. There are a few interesting segments about democratising NUS, but little about democratising their votes at conference. I want to see more commitments to be bound by OUSU policy, but go further than that, by actively bringing motions to OUSU Council so students can decide Oxford’s position on key issues. I’ll wait and see if any of them inspire me enough to give a voting preference to them.
Common Room Support Officer
My Vote: My vote goes to Joe Reason for 2 simple reasons. 1) He went to the central hustings. 2) He talks about Common Rooms in his manifesto, as opposed to Omar’s talk of JCRs (forgetting that 45% of students are represented by MCRs).
My Prediction: Joe wins by a small margin, because he pools enough support from people who always support the independent, and those who have lined against Omar’s Right to Education slate in other contests.
The other contested elections are Disabled Students Officer, and LGBTQ Officer. I don’t feel well versed in these issues to decide, and feel commentary on these positions is probably best left to those most affected by the issues these positions deal with (someone please provide some commentary and analysis!).
MORE UPDATES TO FOLLOW AS THE VOTING CONTINUES...