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Becky Howe wins OUSU Presidential election

Becky Howe has won the 2014 OUSU Presidential election with 1343 votes, beating her closest rival Will Obeney by 710 votes. 

It was a good evening for teamABC, with their candidate Cat Jones being voted VP for Academic Affairs and Access — despite receiving 719 first preference votes to Greg Auger’s 763, winning as a result of second, third, and fourth preference votes. Eden Bailey of Right to Education came third with 478, while For Oxford’s Flora Sheldon received 467 votes.

Ali Lennon, also of teamABC, was elected VP for Welfare and Equal Opportunities with 1551 votes. 

Lucy Delaney was elected VP for Women with 877 votes, while Emily Silcock was elected VP Charities and Community with 1633 votes.

Nick Cooper meanwhile was elected VP Graduates, with 337 votes.

An elated Howe told Cherwell, “I’m really happy and have totally enjoyed it. I’ve campaigned with some really close friends. It’s been stressful and an interesting experience.

“We were up against some pretty big opposition. There were some big slates out there, Right to Education in particular. We’re a pretty small slate, so winning is a massive deal. 

“Campaigning has been eye opening. I’ve realised people don’t really know what OUSU does; only as JCR President did I realise, I had absolutely no idea in my first year.”

When asked what advice she’d give for campaigners, Howe suggested, “Stock up on vitamin C, do your work in the first half of term and surround yourself with good people. You’ve got to believe in them.

“I’m happy Cat’s won as well. We are best friends so it’s amazing we can do this together. I’m so excited for what lies ahead. Overwhelmed and thankful. Thank you Oxford for placing your trust in me. I’d like to thank the rest of the alphabet.”

Successful candidate for VP for Welfare and Equal Opportunities Ali Lennon admitted, “I’m not an expert campaigner. But we had such a positive reception to our ideas. I’ve learned a lot about Oxford. Like don’t give someone a leaflet when studying in the Bod. Like, I’m so happy right now. So happy for Becky and Cat. They did an amazing job — I’m elated and relieved!”

Next year’s VP for Academic Affairs and Access Cat Jones was equally ecstatic, declaring she was “delighted to be working with Becky”, adding, “Tonight we’ll get smashed. Tomorrow the work begins.”

Team ABC were quick to thank their supporters on Facebook, posting, “Thank You to everyone who supported us! We love you all so much. We’re excited for next year and we’ll do you proud. Lots of love, Team ABC Xxxxxxxx” (sic).

For Oxford’s Will Obeney, second in the Presidential race with 633 first place votes, was bought champagne by friends from St Johns after his defeat. He told Cherwell, “I’m pleased with how the campaign went. I’m pleased it was a good natured campaign as well, I enjoyed every minute of it. Eden [Tanner] is the best candidate for trustee and I am so glad she won by such a wide margin.

“I’ll be sad to not help OUSU continue getting better in the way it represents and supports students. I only came to OUSU a year ago, but I think it does great things, and people don’t know about it. I felt like I could help it grow.

“Obviously it’s a shame, but Becky is certainly not a person I mind losing to. I think she has some good ideas, and I think she’s going to do a good job.”

When quizzed about plans for next year, Obeney added that he is currently “quite far” into a Civil Service application.

For Oxford’s newly elected VP for Graduates Nick Cooper, meanwhile, was more somber, telling Cherwell, “I have no complaints. It was a win, but also not a win. We always knew it was going to be close between Becky and Will; Becky will do a good job, but it’s a shame about Will.” 

For the six NUS Delegate positions there were only five candidates as a result of the rule that no more than four candidates from a single slate may run for a single position — Shana Caro (456 votes), Annie Teriba (330), Ella Richards (217), Barnaby Raine (204) and Robert Walsmsley (127) were therefore all elected. 

For Oxford’s Julia Coyne was elected Academic Affair Campaign Officer with 1408 votes, while Henna Shah, also of For Oxford, was elected Access and Admissions Officer with 1448 votes.

Nikhil Venkatesh was elected BME & Anti-Racism Officer with 1367 votes, while Right to Education’s Will Brown was voted Clubs and Societies Support Officer.

Joe Reason was elected Common Room Support Officer with 732 votes to Omar Rana’s 694, For Oxford’s Lindsay Lee was voted as Disabled Students’ Officer with 912 to Right to Education’s Emily Di Dodo on 569, and For Oxford’s Marina Lambrakis is the new Graduate Academic Affairs Officer with 355 votes.

Zuleyka Shahin (Right to Education) is the new Graduate Women’s Officer with 135 votes, David Parton was voted Health and Welfare Officer with 1347 votes, while For Oxford’s Jenny Walker gained 834 votes to beat Right to Education’s Jessy Parker Humphreys to become the new LGBTQ Officer.

Team Women’s Aliya Yule is the new Women’s Campaign Officer with 761 votes, while Right to Education’s James Elliott (522), Will Neaverson (376) and For Oxford’s Eden Tanner (552) have been elected as Student Trustees.

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