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Last Thursday the hardier members of the Salient staff gathered in the Hunter Lounge with bated breath for this year’s VUWSA election results.
Given that we were essentially sitting shiva for Rick’s Presidential career for half an hour before the results were in, we had several opportunities to make David Attenborough-esque observations of the nominees and their hoards that surrounded us. Throngs of liberal-looking second years and pack of lawyer/commerce/suited students chatted in anticipation for what was to be a tough election for some and a “woop”-filled victory for others.
Jonathan Gee will be next year’s VUWSA President after a resounding victory over rival Liam Gallagher.
Gee, who ran on a platform of campaigning for student issues in next year’s local body elections and strengthening VUWSA’s connections with its Pipitea and Te Aro campuses, won by 1960 votes to 474.
Gee told Salient he would “maybe” get crunk but would “drink responsibly”.
The news that VUWSA would be staying in NZUSA received noticeable cheers from the crowd. Just like the Scots, association members have voted “yes” to staying with their overarching national body with 1251 votes in favour to 476.
The Student Media Committee, responsible for overseeing Salient’s budget among other things, will now have two new members: Lucas Davies and Jacinta Gulasekharam, both of whom gained 1178 and 1375 votes, respectively.
The position of Wellbeing and Sustainability officer was the most hotly-contested seat in this election with five candidates all vying to fill incumbent Rory Lenihan-Ikin’s shoes. The job went to Anya Maule who took out 943 votes out of the 2349 votes placed overall.
Annaliese Olivia Wilson was named Education Officer and took out 1125 votes overall. Wilson told Salient she was looking forward to working with her fellow exec members and expressed her surprise at being elected by such a large margin. In true future-politician fashion, Wilson was also quick to thank her flatmates and friends who had helped her to campaign in the final weeks.
The closest results this election came in the race for Clubs and Activities Officer, which was won by Tori Sellwood by a close 379 votes. More than that, the margin between running mates Zamir Adib Mohd Arizan and incumbent Clubs and Activities Officer Rory McNamara was only 54 votes (each got 703 and 649 votes respectively).
The competition for Welfare Vice-President was taken out by Rory Lenihan-Ikin, this year’s current Wellbeing and Sustainability Officer, comfortably ahead of Chennoah Walford, this year’s Equity Officer.
Some results were unsurprising, with the Equity Officer, Treasurer, Campaigns Officer and Engagement Officer all running unopposed.
Despite her lack of opposition, newly elected Equity Officer Chrissy Brown told Salient she was “very happy” with the results and took delight in the limited votes of no confidence she received (a mere 227 when compared to her 2179 votes in favour).
Engagement Officer Nathaniel Manning said he was “looking forward to next year” and was excited about leading a “great engagement team”. Manning was also excited to have “beat out no confidence” (only receiving 300 no confidence votes) and concluded that there was “great things to come from VUWSA next year”.
Alice Lyall comfortably took Campaigns Officer with only 395 votes no confidence to a whopping 2008 in favour.
Treasurer George Grainger appeared enthusiastic about his upcoming role. However, he admitted he was surprised by the results considering some nominees “may not have campaigned as hard as they could have” and claimed “three positions went the wrong way” this election.
View the full results here.