Elections 2015 Re-cap: Part-Time Officers

electionsresizedAFTER the dust has settled since the Students’ Union Elections last month, we take a look at each of the winners in detail. This article focusses on the newly elected part-time officers. Stay tuned for the full-time officer run-down coming tomorrow. You can still pick up a copy of The Courier Elections Special – available in the Union and across campus, and soon to be online.

Union Chairperson

GARETH Edwards has been re-elected as the Students’ Union Chairperson, beating Craig Pryce by 855 votes. Edwards, who was unable to attend the results night due to prior commitments, promised in his manifesto “To continue working towards ensuring our new system of student representation becomes one of the best and most democratic in the UK”.

Other proposals included streamlining Council meetings in order to make them as short and as relevant as possible, and ensuring all Council meetings are bilingual. Furthermore, he wants to digitise Officer reports to make them accessible online for the student body, continue to promote the Council to all students and continue to raise awareness of what issues students can bring to the SU and to the Council.

Deputy Welfare Officer

Jamie Scott, a Criminology student, was elected Deputy Welfare Officer by 1089 votes to 268 for R.O.N. The role of the Deputy Welfare Officer is to support the Welfare Officer in matters relevant to students, and to improve support provisions across the University. Jamie’s main policy tackles housing and administration costs, and additional fees so students aren’t caught out, and working towards abolishing these fees – as was successful in Scotland. Other policies he aims to work on include: promoting sustainable healthy eating, and ensuring hate crime is stamped out. He pointed out that, “it’s hard to make people remember to vote for part time officers”, and because of this he found campaigning

NUS Wales Delegates

With a total of 1248 votes cast, the winners, and the new NUS Wales Delegates, are Will Atkinson, Miriam Williams, Harriet O’Shea and Kerry-Ann Pimlott. The candidates will represent the voice and interest of Aberystwyth University students on a local and national level. “I was a NUS Delegate last autumn, and really enjoyed it,” Miss O’Shea said, “It feels good. It was a close call, but I am glad I got it.”

NUS UK Conference Delegates

Julia Corcoran, Will Atkinson and Miriam Williams are the new NUS UK Conference Delegates, after Thursday’s elections. The candidates stress the importance of a strong voice – both for Aberystwyth students and the NUS as a representative in the upcoming general elections. Miss Corcoran was excited when talking to ASM after the announcement: “I am a supporter of NUS,” she said, “I think being a part of it gives us a good standing.”

LGBT+ Officer

Edward Jones has been elected to the position of LGBT+ Officer with 100 votes over 30 for re-open-nominations – after accepting the award for “Best Speech” earlier in the evening. Stepping onto the stage draped in the emblematic LGBTQ+ flag, Jones spoke with emotion about his election and the safety he has felt as a transgender student at Pantecelyn halls. Jones’ emphasis on how we take being safe for granted was truly touching, mentioning how we live in are world where members of the LGBTQ+ community are even persecuted simply for “loving”, in his own words. In his manifesto, he spoke of his work within the trans community in Wales, his desire to “stamp out hatred everywhere” and promote tolerance and safety towards LGBTQ+ students.

International Student’s Officer

The newly elected International Students Officer is Melanie Moore. The International Students Officer is responsible for representing international students in the Union. They aim to promote social inclusion for international students across campus – as well as campaigning for academic support. Melanie highlights a “big need” for this position to be full time and intends to try and push for this to happen. As an active member of the Christian Union, Melanie intends to work towards establishing a multi-faith Chapel – purchasing praying mats and providing foot baths for students. She thoroughly enjoyed the campaigning process, describing it as “amazing”, despite support initially shocking her; and looks forward to unwinding following a stressful few weeks. Melanie ran unopposed, and was elected at Stage 1 by 35 votes to 13 for R.O.N.

RAG Officer

Rhiannon Edmunds has been elected RAG Officer, with 1088 votes after running unopposed. The role of the RAG Officer is to inspire and support fundraising by the university community for local, national and global causes. In her manifesto, Rhiannon says that she aims to get Aberystwyth University and its Student Union “more actively involved with local charities, to help close the ever growing town/gown divide.” Rhiannon has previous experience as the Fundraising Coordinator for Radio Bronglais FM, the local hospital radio station. She also founded the charity TRIPS, which deals with drug safety and awareness on nights out.

Women’s Officer

Claire Herbert was re-elected as Women’s Officer with 174 votes, to RON’s 34. Claire has spoken freely and openly about her big plans to host a “Reclaim the Night” march to raise awareness towards victims of domestic abuse and the poor treatment of sex workers. She seeks to raise further awareness, saying ‘We have a women’s officer, as well as awareness for other issues concerning women.’ Claire aims to raise awareness of the violence women are subjected to outside and inside the university, and to motivate others to stand up for their rights and fight for those we are yet to receive.

Welsh Language Officer 

The new Welsh Language Officer, elected with 810 votes, is Craig Price. The Welsh Language Officer’s role is to ensure the Welsh language is heard and valued at the university, and to campaign for opportunities for students to learn and speak Welsh. In his manifesto, Craig stated that the Welsh language is “fundamental to our Welsh heritage and culture.” For the coming year, his plans include: representing students by holding meetings, and ensuring Union documents are consistently bilingual; working with the Commissioner for Wales to get resources for the Union; and having an open door policy for anyone who wishes to communicate their issues through the medium of Welsh.

Sports Officer

Joe Waylett has been elected as the Union’s new Sports Officer, after running unopposed for the position. He won by 1163 votes, with R.O.N receiving 216. A member of the university cricket club for three years and a committee member, Waylett has pledged to keep Wednesday afternoons free for BUCS events and reiterated support for the improvement and awareness of sports events at the university. He has also specifically hoped to push for qualified coaches for all sports teams. Waylett’s aims as Sports Officer seem to focus on all equality across sports teams and improved support for any student wishing to get involved in sports at Aberystwyth.

Sustainability and Ethics Officer

Ryan Myles-Roberts was re-elected as Sustainability and Ethics Officer, with 1096 ( a margin of 799 votes) votes in a one man race. The Sustainability and Ethics Officer is responsible for ensuring the campus is environmentally friendly and ethical, and for campaigning to get students a fair deal. When asked how it felt to be re-elected, Ryan said, “It feels great. I get to continue my work from last year, and build foundations for whoever takes on the role after me.” Ryan’s manifesto focused on three main points: providing a series of events to raise awareness about healthy eating on a budget; providing recycling bags in the Union reception for students not living in university accommodation; and to make sustainability a key part of the Student Union.

Societies Officer

Rhiz Evans is our newly elected Societies Officer, winning in the first stage by 1199 votes to 216 (RON). Evans’ focus in both her speech and manifesto is to improve communication between societies and the Union. Quality support, improved marketing and prioritising struggling societies are also all central to Evans’ plans for her new role.

Speaking to Aber Student Media after the results, Evans expressed her excitement for her new role and how much she enjoyed using social media throughout her campaign. When asked what her next plans are she mentioned prioritising societies that are so often looked over for sports teams, and creating advertising in the Union, particularly in the Picture House where there is so much digital space