By Patrick Sullivan, Film & TV Editor
Seven full-time officers were appointed at the Balloon Bar on March 15 alongside the 12 Network Chairs, Student Council Chair, Faculty Reps, and Student Trustees after three days of relentless campaigning.
A fresh team, the first one ever to not have an existing officer continue in their role, has been voted in to the paid roles: Julius Ogayo (International Students Officer); Hillary Gyebi-Ababio (Undergraduate Education Officer); Chris Brasnett (Postgraduate Education Officer); Amy Brook (Sport and Student Development Officer); Julio Mkok (Union Affairs Officer); George Bemrose (Student Living Officer); Jason Palmer (Equality, Liberation and Access Officer). Julius becomes the first ever International Students Officer after the role was introduced for this year’s elections.
They will now go on to represent the student body, hopefully addressing the issues highlighted in their manifestos ranging widely from free laundry in halls to the culture of sexual misconduct at the University.
Julio spoke of their joy and surprise at their fellow students voting them into the role: ‘I’m speechless. If you had told me this morning I would be on the podium giving a speech, I would have said "it’s not April Fools Day".’
Hillary was also delighted with the results: ‘I’m overwhelmed and ecstatic. I am so passionate and it’s an honour and privilege. That’s all I can say right now!’
Overall, during the three day voting period, 7219 students exercised their democratic right to choose their SU officers, 149 more than last year. The 26 per cent turnout this year was a one percent increase from 2018, however, those who did take part submitted more votes for nominees, with a 12 per cent rise in total votes cast. The busiest hour of voting was also the last available, between 8-9pm on Thursday evening, 2565 votes were submitted in a mad rush to the finish line.
The departing team of officers are: Nasra Ayub (Undergraduate Education Officer); Shubham Singh (Postgraduate Education Officer); Ginny Troughton (Sport and Student Development Officer); Stanford (Union Affairs Officer); Vanessa Wilson (Student Living Officer); Sally Patterson (Equality, Liberation and Access Officer). Over the past year, their key achievements have been ensuring student feedback was included in the Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy as well as running food and drink surveys in November, securing access for exam scripts for all students, lobbying for all lectures to be recorded, and launching the BME Powerlist, SU Living Room and the Multifaith Network.
On their work, Shubham said, ‘I’m proud of achieving PGR hub this last year and I’m sure Chris will many achieve thing for postgraduates.’
On working as a full time officer, he said, ‘I think it’s a very challenging experience. You get to learn a lot about university and then you get a limited time to change things. You have to hit the ground running.’
Sally, who presented the ceremony with fellow departing officer Stanford, spoke to us afterwards. ‘It’s an incredible team that’s been elected. People don’t see everything that goes on behind the scenes. They don’t see how much a team supports each other. I feel that’s what this team is going to do. [...] Collectively, as a team, they’re going to be so strong.’
The list of nominees for the full time officer roles were as follows (winners in bold):
Union Affairs Officer
This role represents students in terms of how they interact with Bristol SU through democracy, communications and services, and leads on support for societies, volunteering and RAG.
- Julio Mkok
- Beth Mulley
- Max Langer
- Nachan Fujiwara
Postgraduate Education Officer
This role represents postgraduate taught and research students on academic and welfare matters.
- Chris Brasnett
- Jackline Some
- Martha Herrera Bonilla
- Vaibhav Gokhale
Undergraduate Education Officer
This role represents undergraduate students on academic and welfare matters.
- Hillary Gyebi-Ababio
- Mehul Pasari
Student Living Officer
This role represents students on accommodation, finance, and wellbeing issues, as well as on their interaction with the local community.
- George Bemrose
- Karan Gupta
- Millie Mark
- Ruth Day
- Tom Parry
Sport and Student Development Officer
This role represents students on sport, exercise and health issues, as well as on issues relating to students' personal development.
- Amy Brook
- Antoine Macquet
- Marlo Boyd
Equality, Liberation and Access Officer
This role represents students on equality, diversity and widening participation issues, and ensures that all students’ voices are represented within the SU and University.
- Jason Palmer
- Catreya Mably
- Lois Plummer
International Students Officer
This role represents international students on all aspects of the international student experience.
- Julius Ogayo
- Adriana Molinares Gomez
- Duaa Alim
- Hadya Shawky
- Shailaja Tallam Laxman
- Srustu Thakur
The evening of announcements started at 6.30pm with the Network Chairs, listed below:
- Chair of Student Council - Abbie Jessop
- Chair of BME Network - Omar Chowdhury
- Chair of Disable Students Network - Charlotte Bowyer
- Chair of International Students Network - Arya Sharma
- Chair of LGBT+ Network - Ffion Lewis
- Chair of Multifaith Network (new role) - James Hancock
- Chair of RAG, Volunteering and Sustainability Network - Annabel Lindley
- Chair of Socieites Network - Ife Grillo
- Chair of Sport Network - Fiona Williams
- Chair of Trans Network - Sian Amekuedi
- Chair of Wellbeing Network - Ellie Leopold
- Chair of Women's Network - Syirah Ami
Then followed the announcement of the Postgraduate Faculty Reps:
- Faculty of Arts - David Dewar
- Faculty of Engineering - Mengwei Xu
- Faculty of Life Sciences - Arsham Nejad Kourki
- Faculty of Science - Emmanuel Bempong-Manful
- Faculty of Social Sciences and Law - Yunyan Li
Next up was the announcement of the Undergraduate Faculty Reps:
- Faculty of Arts - Alexander Brett
- Faculty of Engineering - Rosie Hudson
- Faculty of Health Sciences - Jack McAlinden
- Faculty of Science - Becca Kent
- Faculty of Social Sciences and Law - Samantha Crossley
The final announcement - before the keenly anticipating full time officers in waiting were notified - was that of the two student trustees, Flora Jobson and Joselyn Joanes.
Featured Image: Epigram / Patrick Sullivan