Last night, Lewis Wood was elected Students’ Association President with a total of 1,793 votes. His opponent, Lewis Campbell, received 619 votes.
In an interview with The Saint, Mr Wood said, “I absolutely love this place, and everything I said while campaigning was so heartfelt.”
Mr Wood’s victory follows an intense week of campaigning by both Association President candidates. Whereas Mr Campbell ran on a self-described “radical” platform, Mr Wood’s prior experience within the Association led some to describe him as the establishment candidate.
Describing his campaign strategy, Mr Wood explained, “We had a no Yik Yak rule. We knew what campaign we wanted to run, and it was going to be in line with how I want to be president, which is accessible, engaged, and communal.”
Of the five remaining sabbatical races, only two were contested. Three candidates –– Joe Grimeh, Hannah Jacobs, and Jose Orellana –– stood for the role of Director of Education and Services. Ms Jacobs won with 1,212 votes. Mr Grimeh received the second-most votes at 746, and Mr Orellana received the least votes at 502.
The third contested race was perhaps the most amicable. Candidates Tom Abbott and Ellie Robson ran on similar platforms, and during Wednesday’s debate they largely declined to comment on each other’s specific policies. Mr Abbott was declared the winner with 1,250 votes. Ms Robson was close behind with 1,171 votes.
Joining Mr Wood, Ms Jacobs, and Mr Abbott on next year’s sabbatical team are Director of Wellbeing Claire Shirey, Director of Development and Student Activities Charlotte Flatley, and Director of Education Zachary Davis.
This year, election turnout stood at 36.12 per cent. Comparatively, 2016’s turnout was slightly higher at 38.34 per cent.
In an interview with The Saint, Association President Charlotte Andrew said, “Obviously it’s slightly down, which is disappointing. […] In my personal opinion, it’s partially down to the number of candidates. We needed more contested positions. I think it’s the candidates doing the campaigning who tend to get turnout up. I’m not sure why that is and why people aren’t willing to engage the way they have in previous years.
“However, I do think that the professionalism of the teams has gotten higher and that might be partially why. There’s an expectation that you meet a certain standard when you run a campaign, and equally an expectation that you meet a certain standard, especially with sabbatical positions. […] You could argue that we’ve professionalized the positions to the extent that people are intimidated to do them.”