string(9) "cambridge"

SU Election results: Fergus Kirman and Vareesh Pratap are voted Presidents

New Undergraduate President promises students ‘change is coming’ in the SU

The results of the Cambridge Student Union’s Lent 2023 elections were revealed tonight (2/2), determining the team of sabbatical officers which will lead the SU in the next academic year. 2,911 students voted overall, marking a decrease from last year‘s 3,163, which was down more than a thousand votes on the year before.

13 candidates stood for election, with there being seven sabbatical positions up for grabs, along with the post of student councillor. Five of these eight elections were won uncontested, with the student councillor race being the only election to field more than two candidates.

Clare Hall was the college with the largest turnout (39.3 per cent), while Wolfson college’s turnout was the lowest, standing at 3.1 per cent.

Undergraduate President: Fergus Kirman

Image credits: Felix Armstrong

Beginning with the last result of the night, Fergus Kirman beat Eve Blain with 1,529 votes to Blain’s 973. Immediately after the result, Kirman spoke to the Tab to promise the university’s students of a coming change:

“I’m really delighted, I’m blown away, I’m incredibly grateful for all the support I’ve received, especially and above all from my campaign manager, Joshan. For the SU, as a whole, I want students to know [that] change is coming, and that it’s time we have have an SU that does more for students; we’ve listened to students, and change is coming.”

Postgraduate President: Vareesh Pratap

Image credits: Felix Armstrong

The only candidate in this race, Pratap gained 1,589 votes and was elected, gaining more than the quota of 964, and RoN (Re-open Nominations) (339). Speaking to that Tab after the result, Pratap addressed his voters:

“I’m feeling very excited, thanks a lot to all my voters, who expressed their interest in my manifesto and their full trust in me, I’m very much hopeful that I’ll fulfil all your expectations, thank you so much.”

University Councillor: Sam Carling

— Cambridge SU (@yourcambridgesu) March 2, 2023

Standing in this race were Sam Hutton, Noah Rouse, Vareesh Pratap, and Sam Carling. There being four candidates in this race, the count went down to a head-to-head between Hutton and Carling, before Carling succeeded in reaching the threshold, with 961 votes to Hutton’s 699. Sam Carling was not present at the results.

Access, Education and Participation Officer (Undergraduate): Caredig ap Tomos

Image credits: Felix Armstrong

Tomos won the uncontested race with 1,846 votes, easily surpassing the 1,044 quota, while RoN stood at 242 votes. Tomos reflected on their win:

“I’m very happy. It wasn’t the most difficult campaign, obviously, but I still needed to try my best, and I think it’s going to be a good year for the sabbatical team, and I want to push as hard as possible.”

On the mandate reflected in their passing the vote threshold by more than 800 votes, Tomos said: “Regardless of how big it was, I think the students of this university really care about the policies I’ve run on, most of the other candidates have also run on similar policies, and I think it’d be very difficult for the university to push back against [them].”

Access, Education, and Participation Officer (Postgraduate): Anastasia Perysinakis

Image credits: Felix Armstrong

Perysinakis won this position after another uncontested race, with 1,807 votes to RoN’s 194. Speaking just after the result, Perysinakis said to The Tab:

“When I found out that I was running unopposed, I think my biggest worry was skating through, but not having a mandate to represent students, and I think that would have hurt me far more than if I had lost to someone else more deserving. But actually to find out that I have such a massive mandate – I’m incredibly honoured, I’m actually quite shocked.

“I’m excited, but I am very aware of how much work it’s going to be, because I’m going to take it very seriously.”

Welfare and Community Officer: Harvey Brown

Image credits: Felix Armstrong

This count went to a second round (eliminating RoN), after a tight first count in which Brown gained 1,098 votes, and Lane 948. Brown won after the second round of counting, after totals climbed to 1,108 for Brown, and 958 for Lane.

Mature Students’ Officer: Ekene Clair Agbim

Agbim being the only candidate in this election, they won with 257 votes, surpassing the 134-vote quota, and beating RoN, which got a count of 11. Agbim was not present to accept their victory.

Disabled Students’ Officer: Ell Gardner-Thomas

In another uncontested race, Ell Gardner was elected after gaining 325 votes and surpassing the required 212.5 quota, with RoN achieving 100 votes.

Elections were not held for the positions of BME, Women’s, Double Time, Families, and Part-Time Students’ Officers, after no approved candidates were fielded.