• Home
  • News
  • News
  • NUS voting deadline extended after candidates cry foul play

aidan-gregory
1st December 2014

NUS voting deadline extended after candidates cry foul play

The voting deadline was extended, after the Education Officer of UMSU was accused of using her position to influence the outcome of the vote.
NUS voting deadline extended after candidates cry foul play
Photo: NUS

The deadline for the elections of the University of Manchester NUS delegates was extended over the weekend, after allegations were made that Harriet Pugh, Education Officer of the University of Manchester Students’ Union (UMSU), had deliberately used her weekly email to promote her campaign platform to students.

The email, sent out to the entire student body, discussed the SU’s campaigns for free education in the UK, and provided a link to vote in the elections.

After it emerged that the allegations had been made, the decision was taken by the Students’ Union on Thursday night to extend the deadline to midday on Monday.

The Mancunion was approached late last week by Josh Woolas and Andrea Campos-Vigouroux, who are running as part of a collective known as ‘the power rangers’, and are also prominent members of Manchester Labour Students.

They outlined their grievances against the education officer’s campaign.

Woolas also supplied copies of the complaints sent to both the NUS and the Students’ Union. In an email to the National Union of Students, Woolas said,

“I’ve been running in the NUS Delegate elections at UMSU this year and was really disappointed to receive this all-student email—attached below—from one of the other candidates, who is currently a Sabb Officer at our SU.

“Not only is this obviously a resource I don’t have access to as an ordinary student, but the email is a blatant plug for free education—the slate that she is running on. I was wondering what the appropriate avenues are for lodging a formal complaint?

“Being able to send an email to all students whilst the voting for an election she is actively running in is open gives her a huge platform for self-promotion, as well as giving the entire slate an unfair advantage in these elections. It’s really disheartening to see that this was allowed to occur: If this kind of thing can be allowed to happen, then there isn’t really much point in anyone else running in these elections.”

Woolas also emailed the Returning Officer of the Students’ Union, who is responsible for ensuring that all elections are free and fair.

In it, he said he could not “understand why the General Secretary, who was also present at the Demo and isn’t standing in these elections, couldn’t have sent the email. The rules surrounding current student officers standing in elections don’t seem to do enough to protect the fairness of the vote.”

He added further, “I am really disappointed with Harriet’s behaviour, as I thought she held student politics in the same high regard as I do.”

The internal inquiry by the Students’ Union however ruled that Pugh was not in breach of the rules, despite also deciding to extend the deadline until Monday.

A spokesperson for the Union said, “The Returning Officer (RO) recognises that the Students’ Union may have inadvertently raised the profile of one candidate during an election period with the all student email. The RO has therefore recommended that the Union compensate coverage of other candidates by sending out a bespoke communication and extending the ballot box until Monday 1st Dec 12 noon to ensure that no candidates are disadvantaged.”

The Mancunion also contacted Pugh for a response to the allegations made against her.

In a statement, she explained that “As the executive leader and primary organiser among our leadership of the free education campaign, I had been scheduled to write that week’s weekly student email.

“Although the timing was unfortunate, this was an internal oversight and the deadline has been extended for that reason.”

She added further, “I think it is a great injustice that their complaints assume that students do not think for themselves and hence would blindly vote for me in an election on the basis that they had seen my name and opinion [in the email] and agreed with it.”

Voting has now closed and the results will be announced shortly.


More Coverage

UoM PHD student faces backlash over research paper on masturbating to comics of young boys

UoM PHD student faces backlash over research paper on masturbating to comics of young boys

A PHD student at the University of Manchester has recently come under fire and faced a severe online backlash after a research paper he wrote about masturbating to erotic comics of young boys went viral.
Andy Burnham announces new bus fares to combat cost of living crisis

Andy Burnham announces new bus fares to combat cost of living crisis

Bunrham announces that from September 2022 the bus fares will be capped at £2 for adults and £5 for day passes across all operators in Greater Manchester.
Manchester set for travel nightmare this weekend due to busy music weekend

Manchester set for travel nightmare this weekend due to busy music weekend

‘Plan ahead now’ is the warning from Manchester Council for those going
UoM to give students more choice over remote study in provisional flexible learning plan

UoM to give students more choice over remote study in provisional flexible learning plan

UoM has proposed a new flexible learning plan which includes part-time and digital study

Popular Articles

Copyright © The Mancunion
Powered By Spotlight Studios

0161 275 2930  University of Manchester’s Students’ Union, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PR

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap