No Rivals for Four OUSA Candidates

No Rivals for Four OUSA Candidates

Chances of a student politics fight have substantially decreased for this year

Four candidates for the 2021 OUSA Exec will face no competition at their upcoming election. Josh Meikle is the only person running for Finance and Strategy Officer, Maya Polaschek is the only person running for Welfare and Equity Representative, Sophie Barham is the only person running for Postgrad Student Representative, and Geraldi Ryan is the only person running for International Student Representative.

Unless more than 50% of students vote no confidence in those candidates, they will win the roles. Both Finance and Strategy and Welfare and Equity are twenty-hour per week paid roles. Postgrad and International Representative are ten-hour per week paid roles.

Josh Meikle, who is the 2020 Finance and Strategy Representative and is running for the same unopposed, said the “withdrawal of Jack [Campbell, who was originally going to contest the position] came as a surprise today, but I am going to regard this election in the same light now as I would have then. It's a chance to prove that I am the best candidate for this role.”

“I will be absolutely running a campaign as part of this. As much as a campaign is about getting votes I also think it is a great chance to communicate my approach and ideas for 2021 to the student body and the other candidates,” Josh said.

“I definitely hope to prove to people that I'm better than a vote of no confidence,” Maya said. “For welfare and equity, in particular, I think it's important for the people in the university community to get to know who I am and a bit about my approach to the role before I get into it.”

“So in short, I will still be campaigning,” she said. Maya said that she was expecting more competition. “I won't deny it'll be much easier than I had prepared myself for,” she said.

“While I am uncontested I think it’s important I’m not complacent - this is still a representative role and I want to ensure I am connecting with and making myself known to the students I will represent leading up to the election,” said Sophie, who is running for Postgrad Representative.

She didn’t think the uncontested role would change how much effort she put into the election. “I think the level of difficulty is what you make it,” she said. “Running for these types of things are nerve wracking regardless. I am sending all my support to the contested candidates.”

“It surprised me that I’m running for the international representative unopposed, at the same time it gives me a lot of expectations to carry as the sole runner for the international representative on OUSA,” said Geraldi. He reckoned that it won’t make his campaign that much easier, though.

“I wouldn’t say [it will be] easier, because the only eligible voters for international student representative are international students and there aren’t many of them here in comparison with the domestic students, let alone being made aware of the power they have to vote for the OUSA executive election,” he said. “The awareness of [the] election amongst [the] international student community is low based on the facts of the previous SGM of clubs and socs rep and last year’s results on international student representative, so I will be running a campaign.”

2019 was an anomaly in OUSA Election history for having no uncontested positions. It is not uncommon for the Postgrad and International positions to be unopposed.

This article first appeared in Issue 19, 2020.
Posted 5:19pm Sunday 20th September 2020 by Erin Gourley.