After weeks of campaigning, the University of Portsmouth’s Students’ Union has its new Sabbatical Officers and Student Officers for next year.
Having put forward their respective manifesto points and participated in a gruelling student elections question time, the candidates have been elected for the 2017/2018 academic year.
Despite a poor voter turn-out of 19%, 81, 615 votes were cast for the positions available.
The new President of Students’ Union went to third-year student, James Thompson. The voting for President resulted in 14,492 votes, with Thompson receiving a 6% swing to become the Union’s new fearless leader. James Thompson had campaigned in earlier years, but had previously failed to get elected. This year, with a strong campaign team, and a manifesto in which he pledged to pressure the University to provide free sanitary products for women, increase the block grant given to the Union and improve the ‘Have your say’ process, Thompson emerged victorious. In dramatic scenes, Thompson dropped to his knees when the news was announced and pledged to do his utmost to fulfil his election promises. Thompson later tweeted; “Words cannot describe how excited I am to be the next President of @PortsmouthSU. Looking forward to the year ahead.”
In a competitive election to become Vice President for Education and Democracy which went to four round of voting, Angel Layer was elected to the role. 10,742 voted in this election with a swing of 4%. Angel, who has experience in the UK Youth Parliament and is a faculty rep, promised to make sure students receive value for money. She also committed to increasing the level of diversity at university meetings and to promote the reporting of crimes that happen within the uni. On her victory, Angel said: “Can’t believe I got elected to be the new VP Education & Democracy, what amazing candidates and what an amazing week this has been.”
Three strong contestants put their names forward in the hope of becoming the new VP Activities. On the night, Amber Mathurin took the glory, winning with an 8% swing, with votes for the role reaching 7,389 students. In her manifesto, Amber pledges to; increase social mixing, promote more inclusion and offer more opportunities.
In the voting for VP Sport, three candidates went toe-to-toe for the role. In a comprehensive victory, Marcus ‘Campo’ Campopiano won the voting. 8754 votes were cast for the position. In his manifesto and especially during the students’ question time, Campo promised to; increase links between the Department of Sport Science and the AU. He also wants a better support system for committees and generally a more inclusive AU. Later on his Facebook page, Campo wrote: “Pleased to announce that I will be your VP SPORTS next year!!! Thank you everyone for the support, an amazing feeling.”
For the position of VP Welfare and Community, 13,735 votes were cast. Eight candidates applied for the role, but there was only one winner on the night. Victory went to Anita McMahon, who claims in her manifesto that she is aiming to; promote welfare and advice platforms that advise students online. She also aims to strengthen the rapport that the university has with the local community, and wants increase bike security around campus- providing better bike storage. On her Facebook page, Anita excitedly posted: “I honestly still can’t believe that last night, after an unbelievably tight margin of 14 votes, that I was elected as the next VP Welfare and Community.
She continued, “I cannot thank everyone that voted for me enough! It’s an incredible feeling. Thank you to the rugby girls for helping me throughout my campaign and my mum for spending 4 hours cutting out and ironing on T-shirt transfers!”
Earlier in the night, the Student Officers were elected. Current VP for Welfare and Community, Beth Moody was voted to become the new Good Governance Officer. Rubie Targema-Takema was elected to become next year’s International Students’ Officer. Rhiannon Jenkins was confirmed as the new Disabled Students’ Officer. The new Environment Office was given to Oli Flanagan. Ashleigh Mills was elected to become the LGBT+ Students’ Officer, while Raheem Ahmad was voted as the new BAME Students’ Officer.
The new Sabbs and Officers will be begin work in September next year. Speaking about the election night, current President, James Belmonte tweeted: “Amazing night at results night last night. A pleasure to host. Congratulations to the winners, you guys will smash it!”