Breaking: Vanessa Mabonso Nzolo elected student president
The ‘we’re here now’ slate of candidates sees success with four out of four candidates elected
By Anttoni James Numminen
The three presidential candidates (Left to right): Samuel David, Vanessa Mabonso Nzolo, Nathan Hughes. Courtesy of AJN
In an announcement at AUSA’s Union Brew café, Vanessa Mabonso Nzolo was announced as the next student’s association president at 2.25pm this afternoon.
Nzolo ran on a manifesto of “strengthening the student voice, maximizing transparency, and addressing the challenges that AUSA’s liberation and section forums face”.
As winners came off the stage, they were given a small bottle of prosecco and a certificate.
Also elected from the ‘we’re here now’ slate of candidates was Camilo Torres Barragan who was re-elected to a second term as communities officer with a margin of 40 votes.
Also from the slate, Sai Shraddha S Viswanathan was elected for Vice President Welfare with a margin of 17 votes.
The most decisive result came for Akua Serwaa Agyeman for VP Education with a margin of 300 votes, also on the slate.
Photo: Camilo Torres Barragan
Adam Lambert, who was previously sports officer ran uncontested for the newly created position of Vice President for Activities which incorporates responsibility for sports, societies, and student groups, and was re-elected.
According to the VP for Education, Ondrej Kucerak, "1,000 people voted in the election".
If 1,000 students voted in the election, it is slightly less than the 1,081 that voted in last year's sabbatical election when the elections and campaigning were held exclusively online. It is known that about half an hour before voting closed, almost 930 students had cast a ballot according to the AUSA website.
Students attending the in-person announcement were promised pizza and drinks, which turned up after the results were announced. The event was also featured on AUSA’s Facebook page.
Speaking to The Gaudie, Nurudin, a student at the University said he was aware of the election having received an email about it, but "I'm just in Union Brew to have my lunch, I didn't know the announcement was happening now."
Another student, Gabija, told The Gaudie she was not aware that the announcement of the elections was going to take place in The Hub when she happened to be there.
But Martin, a 4th-year politics student, said: "I came to watch the results and eat pizza, especially as it's the first in-person election announcement in two years... democracy in action!"
This year the AUSA website also featured a vote tracker, which had registered almost 930 students as having cast a ballot about half an hour before the polls closed.
Screengrab from the AUSA website before polls closed.
The students' association also offered prizes based on the turnout in the election, with a top prize of 50% discount for tea and coffee from Union Brew if 3,000 students or more cast a ballot.
However, based on the turnout, the prize is likely to be a £20 voucher raffle.
The new team will start their position this summer, and they will be tasked with increasing engagement while also dealing with AUSA's financial situation.
More to follow...
The election winners celebrate their victory. Adam Lamber not in the picture because he was hosting a sports meeting adjacent to the celebrations.