‘We have more democracy’

GUU has highest percentage of contested elections  on campus

Hannah McNeill
Deputy Editor

Glasgow University’s four student bodies have released their candidate lists for the 2015 spring elections. Only twenty-seven of the eighty-nine available positions have been contested by candidates, and thirteen positions have no potential candidates. This means that 70% of available positions are either uncontested or have been left vacant.

Glasgow University Student Representative Council (SRC) has the highest percentage of vacant positions with 27% of their positions unfilled, the Queen Margaret Union (QMU) also has 11% of their positions vacant as only four people were nominated for the five Current Student Representative (CSR) A positions and five people for the six CSR B positions. Both Glasgow University Union (GUU) and Glasgow University Sports Association (GUSA) have no vacant positions.

The SRC has seen an eight percent point increase in the number of potentially filled seats from March 2014, with candidates running in 73% of positions. There has also been a four percentage point increase in the number of opposed elections at the SRC with 12 positions contested this year. However, there has been a significant drop in the number of people running for sabbatical positions with eight people running for the four positions, compared to last year’s eleven people. As Ameer Ibrahim is the only nominee for the position of Vice President of Student Activities, he will take up this position for 2015-2016 unless students vote to reopen (RON) elections.

There has been a massive drop in the number of contested elections at the QMU from March 2014: 50% of the elections were contested at that point, including the CSR positions; in 2015 this has dropped to 16% of the elections being contested. Of the four student bodies, the GUU has the highest number of contested elections this year, with 47% of their elections contested (a three percentage point decrease from last year as there are less one-year PSM positions to be filled); however, the only contested elections other than president are for Present Student Members (PSMs.) GUU Honorary Secretary will be Simon Tierney and Assistant Honorary Secretary will be Flora MacKeddie. Unless QMU members choose to re-open elections, Celia Varela-Sixto will become Honorary Assistant Secretary.

GUSA has kept a steady number of candidates for board positions this year, with eight uncontested positions and four positions opposed – all positions are to be filled. The three executive positions are uncontested and will be filled: Caitlin Kelly will take up the paid sabbatical position of President, Brogan Sinclair will become Vice-President and Charlotte Howard will become Secretary. Convenors for Alumni, Club Sport, Finance and Recreation are all opposed. This year is the first that GUSA members will also be able to vote online.

Out of the twenty-eight non-sabbatical academic positions available at the SRC, only five positions have been contested by students. Eleven positions will remain vacant until the October 2015 elections. This means that 82% of these academic positions are either unfilled or unopposed.

Holly Fergusson, currently Assistant Honorary Secretary, and Rory Slater, currently Honorary Secretary, will run against each other for the position of President of the GUU. This is the first time the position of President has been contested since March 2012. The candidates for the QMU presidency are Alice Stearn, Max Sefton and Chris Steven; this position also involves a paid sabbatical.