Nottingham NUS delegate elections had the highest voter turnout across the country in 2012.
The successful candidates were:
Sam de Kare-Silver
The election had one of the highest voter turnouts ever, and the voting disparity between the nine candidates was minimal. There were only 100 votes between the first and last candidates voted in.
The elected candidates will represent the Students’ Union at the NUS conference in April.
Candidates want to address issues of hidden course costs, student housing quotas, parking permit fees and supporting postgraduate fees funding at the conference.
Sam de Kare Silver thinks there are other issues that should also be addressed by the NUS, “many students complain about unpaid internships and how it is unsustainable to spend their summers working without pay.
“Students have to decide whether they want vital experience or vital income. It should not be one or the other.”
Matt Lee agrees, saying, “At a time when the financing of education seems to be under continued and persistent threat, it is particularly important for NUS to offer an effective and coordinated voice of opposition to any such changes which may negatively affect the student body.”
When asked about the election turnout, candidates were very positive.
Will Clempner said it was “brilliant” and “a credit to both the elections committee, and all candidates that ran for the position.”
“It’s a good thing more students have voted, as it indicates that more of us are concerned with national issues that affect us all,” he added.
However there was some contention that the high voter turnout was due to the candidates’ ability to campaign on social media – something they were not formerly allowed to do.
Education Officer Matt Styles said that the SU “relaxed the rules on elections committee that candidates have to abide by”, adding that it’s more about “guiding principles” now.
Candidates met before the election and decided on campaigning rules and conditions to ensure a fair election.
Ryan Holmes said, “Elections will always have some degree of popularity contest to them, of course candidates’ friends are likely to help them out but as long as there is a strong campaigning element on the issues still I don’t think it is an issue.”
Dave Cordell denied the claims, saying, “As the voting was online and anonymous there is no way to force a voters hand. I’d even say that social media is less intrusive than ‘stop you in the street’ campaigning.”
Natalie Popow and Antonia Paget