Voters indicated a mood for change in the OUSA Vice-Presidential race last week, ousting current Education Officer Bryn Jenkins.
Cam Meads, who headed the ‘Be Bold’ ticket, defeated Jenkins of the ‘Unity’ ticket by a margin of 38 percent to 31 percent. Guy McCallum, who ran with the ‘Justice Through Solidarity’ ticket, came third with a 10 percent share of the vote. Bryn Jenkins has served on the executive for the last two years, first as Welfare Officer now as Education Officer. The other candidates were all fresh faces.
After the results were announced, Cam Meads said he was “Pretty overwhelmed to be honest. I was tactically pessimistic, but I’m pretty happy.” He said that although his Be Bold ticket did not run a presidential candidate, he really wanted Caitlin Barlow-Groome to win. “We got two from our ticket, so I’m pretty happy with that. Hard luck to the other candidates. I’ve enjoyed every moment of this campaign, and I’m looking forward to next year.”
Despite getting just 10 percent of the 4425 votes, McCallum was happy with his performance. “We only came together at the last minute, we are from outside the OUSA clique, so we really grew from nothing.” He said that unlike other tickets, Justice Through Solidarity would continue in an activist role as “a thorn in the side of OUSA to make sure they’re doing what they need to be doing”. He pointed to campaigns like Students Against Sexual Violence as an example of initiatives he would pursue, “There’s a lot of neoliberalism on the campus to do battle with”.
For the 2018 Finance Officer position, current Finance Officer Cody Kirby, who was not present at the results announcement, lost out to Be Bold’s Sam Smith.
Current Colleges Officer and Unity candidate James Heath narrowly avoided losing his place on next year’s executive, edging out Be Bold’s Laura Cairns by just 3 percent, as he almost reached the 40 percent mark. Kyra Gillies came in third with 18 percent, and ‘no confidence’ reached 9 percent.
“I am absolutely honoured to be re-elected,” Heath said. “It was a privilege to run against Laura and Kyra and I wish them all the best. I hope OUSA hasn't seen the end of them!”
“We know some of the issues that need to be addressed, external engagement and internal communication, and I can’t wait to tackle these and continue working for students.”
In the Welfare Officer race, Abigail Clark won a decisive victory over Sara Elgoran, by a margin of 49.2 percent to 27.3 percent. Kyra Gillies picked up 13.9 percent.
Clark explained that she was, “So happy for her team,” but upset that Unity’s Presidential candidate Finn Shewell didn’t win. “Finn was the brains behind the operation and he would have been an amazing president, but I’m excited to work with Caity.”
She didn’t think that Unity losing both the Presidential and Vice Presidential races would hamper their goals for next year.
“We’re all equal on the ticket and I think a lot of people didn’t understand that we’re all in this as equals. The ideas that we brought for Unity will continue through, not having Finn and Bryn won’t change that.”
She said that the issue she was most excited to get stuck into was a sexual violence prevention campaign in the halls, and asked all of the candidates who lost to get involved in campaigns next year.