The Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union today announced its 2021 election results via Facebook following an unprecedented period of entirely virtual campaigning.
There was an especially wide field of 19 candidates this year, and four have been chosen to become the 2021/22 SU presidents.
The elections used a single transferable vote system, which allowed students to rank candidates, including the choice to reopen nominations.
Ben Statham-Wilkins was elected president Falmouth, with a final lead of 149 votes over his closest competitor, Hazel Veitch.
He told the Anchor: “I want to represent the student voice as best as I can, so it means a lot that the students have trusted me to do this, and I cannot wait to get started. I had a lot of fun with my campaign, and the engagement I was receiving was really encouraging. All of the candidates really deserve recognition for how hard they all worked—it was intense, but we saw everyone come up with some amazing and creative ideas. I’m also really excited to work alongside the other presidents, I think we will all collaborate really well together.”
Steven Preece was elected president Exeter, receiving 439 (68%) of 644 votes and beating competitor Ellen Groom by 259.
He said: “I can’t wait to begin this once in a lifetime opportunity and be able to share this journey with each and every student! Throughout the campaign period, there were definitely times when pressures built up. Juggling university studies alongside this was truly challenging yet entirely worth it. New friendships have blossomed throughout this experience, and I have been super impressed by the campaign efforts of all candidates.”
Ellie Ricks was elected president student experience, with a final lead of 119 votes over her closest competitor, Michael Warne.
She said: “Sitting with my family watching the results, I didn’t have high expectations for the elections. So, you can imagine the kind of inhuman noise I made when I saw the announcement. This is a dream come true, and I can’t wait to start making Falmouth a brighter and happier place. The campaigning process was hard, but I would do it all again and would recommend it to anyone even considering going for a role in future.”
Charlotte Agnew was re-elected for a second term as president welfare & inclusivity in a tight race, beating her closest competitor, Yasmine Fosu, by eight votes in the final count.
She said: “It’s so exciting to see so many students engaging with the elections this year and just shows that it has been a really difficult year for everyone, and there is so much change that students want the new team to lobby for. The campaign process was long and tiring, especially as it was all online, but I’m thankful for a wonderful campaign team that was full of ideas and to any student that helped to spread the word and encouraged other students to vote!”
The SU congratulated the new presidents, adding: “We can’t wait to see how you plan to instruct student-led change!”
A total of 4,072 votes were cast from 1,535 individuals. More statistics from the election can be found on the SU website.