AUSA announces candidates for Sabbatical Elections
Elections to be held next week
By Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco
AUSA has announced the slate of students vying for leadership of the student body. In total, 31 individuals are standing for five Sabbatical Officer positions. The Sabbatical Officers, known as Sabbs, are year-long, full-team, paid employees of AUSA who represent the interests of the student body.
The large number of candidates stands in contrast to the situation last year, when only 13 candidates ran for office, including one race (VP for Activities) that was an uncontested win for the incumbent Adam Lambert.
Seven candidates are standing for the position of Student President, including Vanessa Mabonso Nzolo, the current student leader. Also running are Gregor Armstrong, Ken Boateng, Samira Nouri, Vicky Dorkar, Zack Parsons, and Mithila Dewan.
As an incumbent, Mabonso Nzolo appears to have the upper hand in the race, as the vast array of new candidates may split the vote of those looking for new leadership.
The Vice President for Education race also has a crowded field, with six students running. Incumbent Akua Serwaa Agyeman is standing for a second term, seeking to ‘finish up a few things’ from her first go-round. Five other candidates (Kirsten Koss, Naqeeb Kakar, Rhiannon Ledwell, Raul Placencia, and Stephen Obabori) are also running for the post.
Five candidates are standing for the post of Vice President for Communities. As incumbent Camilo Torres Barragán has already served two terms, the VP will be chosen from a group of new candidates (Ainhoa Burgos Aguilera, Frank Oduro, Stefano Giannaccini, Visla Krishna, and Sofia Scarpellini).
The Vice President for Welfare race also features an incumbent. Sai Shraddha S Viswanathan, last year's VP, is running for a second term. She will be challenged by three other candidates: Michalina Gorzenska, Destiny Ayo Vaughn, and Sultan Turut Balioglu.
The race for Vice President for Activities is by far the most crowded, with nine candidates running to succeed two-term VP Adam Lambert. The candidates are Andrews Owusu Appiah-Kubi, Rebecca Leigh, Tanja Kiiveri, Tonis Talik, Victoria Orr, Zain Faizi, Philip Ukwamedua, Ayush Mourya, and Johannes Koehn.
The candidates will discuss their manifestos (which can be found here) at a series of debates this Thursday, Friday, and Monday from 12-2 pm. The election opens this Monday (13 March) at 9 am on AUSA’s website. The polls will close at 5pm on Thursday (15 March), with the results announced the next day.
AUSA will look to improve student turnout from last year’s election, when just five percent of students turned out to vote.