The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Thousands vote to elect new student reps

4,215 students voted to elect 21 new student representatives

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21 new Student Representatives have been elected to provide a link between students and the University of Manchester Students’ Union (UMSU).

Over 4,000 students voted in the elections, almost matching the 4,500 who voted in the Executive elections in March.

Nick Pringle, UMSU’s General Secretary, said: “I am absolutely delighted that 4,215 students turned out to vote for student representatives in the recent elections.

“We had 79 candidates including people who have not been involved in the Union previously. Being an elected officer is an amazing job and I am really excited about more people wanting to get involved in the Union and represent students.”

15 different positions were offered but only 13 were filled. They range from Faculty reps to “Liberation” reps, who campaign for minority students.

Meredith Boccanfuso was elected as the Undergraduate Medical and Human Sciences Rep, but as she was the only candidate the second position remained unfilled.

The role of International Action Group Chair is completely undecided because the election count was “suspended to investigate student complaints”.

Manchester Students’ Union would not comment further on the issue.

Lack of competition was a wider issue as four roles had the same number of candidates as positions, including three postgraduate roles and the Disabled Students Representatives.

But some roles received a lot of attention, such as Undergraduate Humanities Rep which featured 13 candidates and received 1,099 votes, with Arthur Baker and Ibrahim Tawab coming out on top.

Mr Baker said that he was “very excited” about the new role. “I’m thinking about how I’m going to do all the things I said I was going to do”.

Asked about the turnout, he said: “It was fantastic. This is the first election I’ve had experience of so I don’t know what it was like in previous years but I think it was pretty damn good.”

Daniel Joseph, one of the new Disabled Students Representatives said: “I’m elated with the win. My priority at the moment is to meet up with the other newly elected Disabled Students Rep, Gemma, to decide on where to get started.

He continued: “I thought we had a really good turnout, which hopefully shows that there is a large amount of enthusiasm and support for our campaign.”

The Union website says: “Student reps provide the link between students and their Union on academic issues, as well as raising any issues they need to escalate with Union faculty reps or the Academic Affairs Officer as they arise.”