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Uni Financial Deficit Signals Turbulent Term Ahead for Students’ Union

Updated: Jul 2

As the University battles financial deficit, a new Student Officer team braces for possible funding cuts.

By Fred Byrne

Student President Christina Schmid in front of the Student Hub / Photograph by: Lara Nicolis

The 1st of July marks a new term at the Students’ Union. The University-funded charity, known as 'AUSA' (short for Aberdeen University Students' Association, their legal name), is tasked with representing students and improving university experiences. As the University battles a financial deficit, a difficult year is expected for the new SU team.


The elected Student Officers, formerly known as 'Sabbatical Officers', are full-time, paid representatives elected by students.


For the next academic year, Politics, Spanish & Latin American Studies graduate Christina Schmid takes on the role of Student President following Vanessa Mabonso Nzolo’s two-year tenure. Philosophy and Politics graduate Miles Rothoerl begins as VP Education after Rhiannon Ledwell's term of campaigning to save modern languages and to stop staff redundancies.


After two years as VP Welfare, Sai Shraddha Suresh Viswanathan begins her term as President of NUS Scotland, which represents university and college students nationally.

Last year, Sai helped secure £3.21 million for mental health counselling at universities.


Psychology graduate and film enthusiast Karim Hurtig succeeds Sai as VP Welfare in the SU. His election campaign revolved around improving welfare training for student societies.


Christina and Miles stood for elections under 'Standing for Student Voices'. They campaigned on a platform to encourage student participation, hold weekly drop-ins and publish work reports. Moreover, their manifestos spoke of compassionate university policies towards students, working towards a just transition, as well as reforming class rep and university governance structures. 


Ainhoa Burgos Aguilera was re-elected for her second term as VP Communities and told The Gaudie that she will prioritise communicating her continued initiatives, including the Zero Waste Shop and Hedgehog Friendly Campus campaign. Ainhoa hopes to ensure these changes stay once she leaves. 

In his second term as VP Activities, Tõnis Tilk told The Gaudie that he will focus on analysing students' demographic data to understand which students to better engage.

Tõnis also plans to redo the floor at Butchart Recreation Centre, where uneven sockets prevent many sports from taking place there.

In March, Tõnis told students: "Vote for me if you want discounted and free activities."

The Gaudie is releasing a series of interviews with elected student officers. You can read our interview with Student President Christina Schmid here.


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