SU election results – your new sabbs and their policies

A number of close races characterise this year’s SU Lent Elections

The 2022 Cambridge SU Lent Elections concluded at 5 pm today (3/3) after a hard-fought campaign, with 14 candidates running for 8 positions on the new SU. 3,163 people voted in the Lent elections overall – a decrease on 4,520 on last year’s elections.

The JCR with the highest turnout was Peterhouse, with 51.6 per cent of members casting their ballot; the MCR with the highest turnout was Pembroke, where 14.1 per cent of members voted. Classics had the highest overall turnout among the faculties at 25.2 per cent.

Here are the provisional results of some races:

President (Undergraduate)

Zaynab Ahmed: 1273 votes (1314 votes post-redistribution)
Zak Coleman: 1152 votes (1174 votes post-redistribution)
Re-open Nominations (R.O.N.): 336 votes

SU Undergraduate AEP Officer Zaynab Ahmed will replace incumbent SU President Zak Coleman, defeating him by 140 votes or a margin of 5.6 per cent at the final stage of redistribution.

Ahmed studied Classics at Newnham and has pledged to fight against “division, disconnect and disparity in Cambridge.” Among her plans are creating study spaces, a bar and rooms for societies in the SU building and pressuring the University to re-evaluate workloads in all undergraduate triposes to improve students’ academic experience in Cambridge.

Zaynab Ahmed celebrates her successful presidential bid (Image credits: Vedika Mandapati)

Ahmed has also placed an emphasis on dealing with student welfare issues in Cambridge, pressuring colleges to provide proper training to pastoral tutors as well as reforming centralised disciplinary procedures. On decolonising the university, Ahmed proposes to create and campaign on a Cambridge-specific decolonisation manifesto created by students and provide SU funding to curriculum decolonisation campaigners.

President (Postgraduate)

Amelia Jabry: 946 votes (967 votes post-redistribution)
Savannah Phillips: 884 votes (898 votes post-redistribution)
Re-open Nominations (R.O.N.): 252 votes

SU Postgraduate AEP Officer Amelia Jabry has been elected Postgraduate President, defeating Savannah Phillips by 69 votes or a margin of 3.7 per cent at the final stage of redistribution.

Her keystone policy is making Cambridge more sustainable, in ways such as campaigning for all postgraduate courses to include opportunities to learn about sustainability and climate change. She also focused on student support for postgraduate students in her manifesto, such as “lobbying for proper pay for student supervisors for the actual hours they work.”

Access, Education and Participation Officer (Undergraduate)

Neve Atkinson: 1264 votes
Lily Ingram: 862 votes
Re-open Nominations (R.O.N.): 245 votes

Neve Atkinson, a third-year History student at Murray Edwards, has been elected Undergraduate Access, Education and Participation Officer.

Atkinson believes that access does not end at admission and has promised, among other things, to make admissions statistics and hardship application processes more transparent. She has also promised to ensure that faculties and lectures are accessible and will fight to retain some alternative examination arrangements.

BME Officer

Kefeshe Bernard: 436 votes
Re-open Nominations (R.O.N.): 87 votes

Kefeshe Bernard, a second-year HSPS student at Jesus, has been elected unopposed to the BME Officer position. Bernard hopes to “champion ethnic minority and intersectional minority voices” at a university level, and has proposed plans to decolonise education by creating a “multi-disciplinary decolonised reading list.” They also want to introduce more University-provided BME counsellors and widen access opportunities by creating a free online platform for potential applicants with courses taught by current students of colour.

Disabled Students’ Officer

Elia Chitwa: 437 votes
Re-open Nominations (R.O.N.): 56 votes

Former Undergraduate LGBT+ Campaign President Elia Chitwa has been elected unopposed as Disabled Students’ Officer.

Chitwa studied Physical Natural Sciences at Clare and is now reading Psychology. Among their plans are lobbying the university to give students a choice between attending their lectures online with captions and in-person in a safe environment. They also want to provide further support to aid transitions both in and out of university and hope to improve mental health support for disabled students such as through access to long-term support.

Welfare and Community Officer

Daisy Thomas: 2020 votes
Re-open Nominations (R.O.N.): 354 votes

Robinson JCR Vice-President Daisy Thomas has been elected unopposed as the SU’s new Welfare and Community Officer.

Thomas advocated for a wide range of policies in her manifesto. On welfare, she plans to advocate for the retention of the UCS self-referral system on a university level whilst pushing for the widespread use of paid, full-time College Wellbeing Coordinators at a college level, criticizing the current tutor system as “inadequate.”

Thomas also wants to support the implementation of the reading week to decrease workload and burnout. A referendum on implementing a reading week at Cambridge was held alongside the SU elections – read more here. 

Incoming Welfare and Community Officer Daisy Thomas jubilant at her election victory (Image credits: Vedika Mandapati)

Women’s Officer

Eseosa Akojie: 799 votes
Marina McCready: 440 votes
Re-open Nominations (R.O.N.): 76 votes

Eseosa Akojie, a postgraduate student undertaking an MPhil in Gender Studies, has defeated Marina McCready in the race for the SU’s Women’s Officer position.

Akojie will organise a fortnightly book club revolving around anti-racist, feminist, and abolitionist texts, form support groups, and develop links with national and local groups. Claiming that “If your feminism isn’t intersectional it ain’t shit,” Akojie will seek to ensure that the SU’s feminism movement is “anti-racist, anti-capitalist and abolitionist”.

A part of Akojie’s manifesto also attends to women’s safety in Cambridge. She plans on working with college porters, JCRs, and MCRs to ensure that drink covers and other anti-spiking supplies are stocked in every college, eliminating transphobia from the university and increasing street lighting around Cambridge so that students feel safe.

Eseosa Akojie emerges triumphant in the race for Women’s Officer (image credits: Vedika Mandapati)

University Councillor

Sam Carling: 800 votes (896 votes at final distribution)
Eve Blain: 755 votes (864 votes at final distribution)
Ruari McColl: 529 votes
Re-open Nominations (R.O.N.): 194 votes

Christ’s JCR President Sam Carling has emerged the winner in a three-horse race for University Councillor. At the final distribution, Carling defeated runner-up Eve Blain by 32 votes – a margin of 1.8 per cent.

Carling aims to make the University’s governance system more transparent to students and will “champion student campaigns at the highest level of governance”. He will also push for university-wide regulation of contract periods to “increase fairness across the board,” as well as “pushing for more ambitious policies” against the climate crisis.

A University spokesperson stated, “We congratulate all the successful candidates on their elections and look forward to working with them, on a range of issues, when they take up their posts.”

The Tab will continue to report on the results of the 2022 Lent Elections, including the results of the reading week referendum.

Feature image credits: Keira Quirk