The results of last month’s Students’ Union Officer and Trustee elections have been announced, following investigations that led to the disqualification of the Re-Open Nominations (RON) option from every race.
The planned results declaration on Thursday 27th February was cancelled due to “election investigations” that, according to the SU’s election regulations, had to be resolved in full before result were announced.
In a lengthy statement on Tuesday afternoon, the Students’ Union clarified the nature of the complaint that led to the investigations, and explained the reasons for disqualifying RON.
“Re-Open Nominations disqualified from the election”
The statement reads: “The complaint was from a voter about a significant breach of our election rules, (standing order C12) that “students in positions of authority will not be permitted to use resources that others generally do not have the ability to access.”, which concerns the misuse of a significant amount of student data.
“It was against a member of the campaign team for the candidate Re-Open Nominations who had access to the data, held by the University because they are also a member of University staff.”
It continues: “The complaint was investigated by the Deputy Returning Officer and upheld, with Re-Open Nominations disqualified from the election as a consequence.
“This decision was then reviewed by the external Returning Officer, Peter Robertson, the Acting Chief Executive of NUS, on the request of the Deputy Returning Officer due to the severity of the complaint, at which point the decision of the Deputy Returning Officer was upheld by the external Returning Officer.”
The SU’s full statement can be found here.
Seun Twins was elected as President
After the disqualification of RON from all election races, the following candidates were elected.
Seun Twins was elected as President over Pranjul Khatri, and will replace incumbent Kate McIntosh.
Ewan Swift will become Welfare and Liberation Officer after beating incumbent Amelia McLoughlan.
Anna Marshall was elected unopposed as Opportunities Officer. Following the disqualification of RON, Marshall was the only eligible candidate.
Nailah Haque was elected Undergraduate Academic Officer, beating Declan Merrington and Bran Blackshaw.
Sarah McAllister has been elected Postgraduate Academic Officer over Ludovico Rella.
The four Trustees elected were Ensharah Sodha, Max Kirk, Kamil Hepak and Yash Raju.
Turnout was 19.2%, a 5% increase on last year
A total of 4311 votes were cast during the voting period, with a turnout of 19.2% – a 5% increase on last year’s elections.
Turnout was highest at St Chad’s College with 41%, with St Aidan’s College a close second on 39%. However, only 5% of Durham’s postgraduate students voted in the ballot.
The breakdown of voter statistics was not provided in the declaration, but Palatinate understands this will be announced by the SU before the end of term.
More to follow.
Image: Tim Packer via Wikimedia Commons