Christmas is almost upon us and with it the looming presence of something even brighter, louder and formally more expensive. That’s right, the Exec Elections 2014 are rapidly approaching.
On Tuesday night, Hannah Chrisp held an open evening for prospective candidates, inviting them to ask questions of the current Exec as well as to find out how to write a manifesto, run a campaign and the timeline of this year’s race.
At present the nominations look like they will be open throughout January with the live reveal, and thus the start of campaigning, currently scheduled for February 9. This however is still subject to change and Union Council approving the plans. Which won’t happen until after the Christmas holidays now as the final Council of the term was cancelled.
If all the students present at the meeting run for the roles they were there to investigate, it looks like we are in for an interesting elections season with multiple positions having three or four prospective candidates.
Welfare for instance, looks like it will once again be a hotly contested position. The current Global DO, Natasha White is slated to be one of the most likely nominations as well as Welfare’s Disability Officer and Butler Court Hall Chair, George Bollands. Two second years are also thought to be considering throwing their hats in the ring; Steph Noble who applied for Welfare’s Mental Health Officer and Tolulope Ariyo-Sanyaolu, who has recently stepped down from her position on the Welfare committee as Black and Ethnic Minorities Officer, has said that she is going to decide whether she runs over the Christmas break.
The next Rag chair will almost definitely come from within the Rag committee as in previous years, with Vice-Chair, Danni Hitchins, Events Coordinator, Dipesh Vibhakar, and Raids Officer, Dave Edwards all being taken as pretty definite runners.
Action Chair nominations also look like they’ll come from within as both Phil Jenkins, Vice Chair, and Josh Turner, Hall Reps Coordinator, are rumoured to be putting themselves forward.
Media is renowned for electing from within its sections and this year looks to be no different with Label Sport Editor and LCR Head of News, Bryn Wilkes being a confirmed candidate for weeks. His rivals look like they’ll come from LSUTV with both Head of Entertainment Production, Josh Reynolds, and Head of Factual Production, Katie Shanahan attending Chrisp’s meeting.
For the job of Union President, it’s thought that Faraday’s Chair, Rob Whittaker, will put his name down. Currently, it looks like he will be competing with Falk-Egg’s Out of Halls Rep Tommy Allen. It is also possible that Elvyn Richards’ Chair Gavin Mott will follow in Josh Hurrell’s footsteps from Elvyn to Union President but that rumour remains to be confirmed.
IMS Chair Steffan Lloyd looks like a likely candidate for the next AU President, but might have to face his Vice Chair, Martha Riggs as well as AU Secretary Bryony Cleall if he wants to win the position.
The fight for Societies President is at present a two horse race between Newsletter Editor Zoe Mumba and Sports Sec Chris Briggs both showing intent to run. It will be interesting to see if Pole Dancing Society produce another candidate with both the last two Societies Presidents being former Chairs of the society.
Education looks like it will be between Social Psychology Programme Rep, Amy Ward and E&E Project Leader Sébastien Roger. Both of whom have tellingly just put themselves forward to sit on to Union Council, normally a good indicator as to who will be putting themselves forward in the election race.
Which only leaves VP Democracy and Communications and VP Finance and Commercial Services. With plans in the motion to propose merging the two roles, it may be that Towers Chair Gabby Franchina, who it is said is currently thinking of running for Democracy, finds herself in competition against HSF President and former Royce Chair, Dan Thomas. Thomas has his eye on VP Finance but neither would be deterred from running if the jobs were combined. It remains to be seen if the newly elected Councillors will vote to allow the change.
At present it seems like Ali Cole’s expenses cap, which will remain this year albeit with modifications by Chrisp to further limit people skirting the £100 budget, has indeed encouraged more people to run. However there is still a month and a half before the official reveal, leaving plenty of time for people to change their mind about running or indeed to decide that they will.
As ever, regardless of who runs, The Epinal will be with them every step of the way, bringing you all the latest updates.