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Breaking: Alisa Koester elected Student President

Koester beat George Taylor and Xiuping Zhai to succeed Cecilia Wallbäck as head of the Students' Association

By: Anttoni Numminen

Alisa Koester has been elected President of the Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA).

Koester stood on a platform of promoting students’ rights, inclusivity and safe spaces, sharing a slate with Ondrej Kucerak and Ivana Dradkova who ran for VP for Education and Welfare, respectively.

The results of the election were announced at the AUSA Annual General Meeting at 4.50pm.

Meanwhile, Adam Lambert has been elected as Vice-President (VP) for Sport, Ondrej Kucerak was elected VP for Education, Camilo Torres-Barragan was elected VP for Communities and Ivana Dradkova was elected VP for Welfare.

Speaking to the Gaudie, Koester thanked everyone who had voted for and believed in her.

“Special thanks to my slate partners, Ondrej and Ivana, and my flatmates for their unconditional support! Without them, this would not have been possible. I would also like to thank the BAME forum and ASCN for endorsing me!

“I am aware that my manifesto is ambitious, but I am looking forward to start working on it and creating a more united AUSA.”

Rival, candidate, George Taylor who ran a protest candidacy, congratulated the newly elected president and other sabbatical officers for running a respectful and positive campaign.

“The Student President must be representative of students’ views & wants, and must bring these to AUSA’s attention.

“I’m concerned by such a low turnout for this election, which proves a majority of students in Aberdeen are totally disengaged from AUSA. I maintain AUSA is desperately in need of electoral and structural reform. This is the only way to increase student engagement and provide the University of Aberdeen with a proper students’ union.

However, he said he would continue lobbying to reform AUSA over the Summer and next academic year “for the students of the University of Aberdeen, and will welcome all support from students and alumni.”

Xiuping Zhai who ran for Student President on a platform of “sharing education and prosperity”, said: “Although I regret that I did not succeed in the campaign, this campaign has deepened my understanding of AUSA. I am very grateful to AUSA for its contributions to each of our students. This is a great organisation.

“I hope that AUSA’s future will be getting better and better.”


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