New USSA Executive committee elected

Kirsty-Louise Hunt, News Editor

The University of Strathclyde Student Association (USSA) Executive for academic year 2014/2015 was elected on 7 March following a week-long campaign.

This year is the first in which Strathclyde, Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) and City of Glasgow College combined their election campaigns in an attempt to boost voter turnout.

Strathclyde’s five full-time executive positions were filled with an overall student voter turnout of approximately 2750, slightly less than the 3,000 votes  casts in 2013. The target of a 30% voter participation remained elusive.

GCU achieved its highest ever turnout for the second year running.

Strathclyde’s Executive President position went to Gary Paterson, who won the title after 2 rounds of voting.

He said: “I am thrilled to have been elected as Strathclyde Student President, I am so excited about the year ahead and the things we will all work on together. I was inspired by the stories of so many students fighting to get the future they want and the uni life they deserve, thanks to everyone who voted for me and took time to discuss their issues; I hear you, I won’t forget you, I can’t wait to start working for you and with you in the year ahead!”

Vice-President of Activities & Development, contested by 3 candidates, went to Claire Sally who was elected outright in the first round of voting with 1054 votes.

James Ferns was re-elected, unopposed, for his second year as Vice-President of Education with 1543 votes whilst Roza Salih was also re-elected for a second year as Vice-President of Diversity and Advocacy.

James Reid, incumbent Sports and Well-being President (VPSW), narrowly lost out on re-election to Mairi MacVicar, who will take over as VPSW next year after winning with 1048 votes to Reid’s 935.

For GCU, Michael Stephenson was elected President. Neill Clark was elected Vice President of Education, Jack Johnston Vice President of Well being and Lee Goodfellow won Vice President for Activities. The results mean that the University now has an all-male executive,  a surprising  result given that women make up 60% of GCU students.

In addition to the executive positions, the results of referenda from Strathclyde and GCU were also revealed.

At Strathclyde, by a margin of 1807 votes for  to 518 against, students voted in favour of the Executive campaigning for student support to be extended to include summer months. Students also voted in favour of supporting University staff industrial action.

Both issues will now be adopted as part of USSA’s official policy.

Caledonian students voted against official support of staff industrial action, including a marking boycott, by 857 votes to 673. In a second referendum question, a mock of the question to be asked in Scotland’s independence referendum last this year, ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’ 1009 students voted ‘No’ and 586 voted ‘Yes’.

All 3 institutions also elected delegates for the NUS Scotland and NUS UK Conferences.

Strathclyde’s NUS Scotland delegates, who will attend the conference on 22 March in Dundee, are Marian Craig, Scott Edgar,  James Ferns, Roza Salih and Bohdan Starosta.

The NUS UK delegates are Kwaku Adjei,  Marian Craig,  James Ferns, Gary Paterson, Roza Salih and Bohdan Starosta.

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