Trinity was a busy term for Oxford’s politicos. In late April and early May, many were busy canvassing for their parties in the local elections which saw Labour gain two seats and win a total of 18 (75% of seats available). The Liberal Democrats kept their four and, with only one seat, the Greens are down two from the 2012 elections. The Conservatives, like UKIP, lost votes and failed to win any seats, although this was hardly unexpected: the City Council has been dominated by Labour almost continuously since 1980. An Oxford postgraduate student, Dan Iley-Williamson, the new campaigns officer for the University Labour Club, was elected to the City Council for the Holywell ward last May. A number of other big names in university politics were unsuccessful: Harry Samuels (now Senior Co-Chair in the University Lib Dems), Andy Mackay (another OULD grandee), Alex Curtis (an OUCA officer) and George Walker (last term’s OUCA President). With the elections over, attention turned to the referendum campaign, where Oxford Students for Europe and Oxford Students for Britain took to the streets in the hope of winning over voters ahead of the polls on 23 June. To round off the term, the political societies held elections in 8th week, the results of which are detail below.
This term’s President of Oxford University Conservative Association, Harrison Edmonds (Univ.), was elected per saltum at the end of Hilary. A third year historian, Edmonds became a BNOC in his first year at Oxford, when he spearheaded the successful campaign to ‘Save Sub-Fusc’ in the run up to an OUSU referendum on the future of the dress code. He defeated Christ Church’s Wojciech Woźnicki, the sitting political officer (the traditional precursor to presidential office) in 8th week of Hilary following a heated contest for the top spot. Trinity’s set of elections saw Woźnicki’s friend and political ally, Matthew Burwood (Brasenose), returned for the position of President-Elect at the Trinity elections. It was close contest and Burwood took home the top-spot by a majority of one vote on a slate including William Rees-Mogg, Tom Munro, Tim Doyle, Redha Rubaie, James Beaumont and Giles Leigh. Victory was secured after Burwood’s opponent, Patrick Mulholland (formerly OUCA Treasurer), dramatically lost the support of much of his own slate, who switched sides to endorse Burwood during and after the presidential hustings at OUCA’s termly general meeting.
Burwood had been political officer in Trinity and will take up the presidency at the start of Hilary 2017. A third year Physics and Philosophy student, he has worked his way up through OUCA since arriving at Oxford in 2014, serving as the Whip in Hilary, Publicity Officer in Michaelmas 2015 and a Committee member in Trinity 2015. He was also a News Editor with this newspaper for a time and has been active in the Oxford Forum.
The other posts in OUCA will be filled a follows:— Treasurer: Angus McNeill Peel (St John’s); Treasurer-elect: Edward McGovern (St Benet’s Hall); Secretary: Philip Fiuza (New); Political Officer: William Rees-Mogg (Magdalen); Social Secretary: Peter Saville (Univ.); Communications Director: Jacob Chatterjee (Christ Church); Publications Editor: Timothy Doyle (Magdalen); Whip: Conrad Bannister (Trinity); Returning Officer: Hugo Birtle (Lincoln); committee members: Redha Rubaie (Corpus Christi), James Beaumont (Exeter), Anna Lukina (Hertford), Elizabeth Robbins (Lincoln), Benjamin Steward (Lincoln) and Giles Leigh (New).
The Co-Chairs of Oxford University Labour Club for Michaelmas term will be Tom Wadsworth (St John’s) and Tom Turner (St Catherine’s). Elected at the end of Hilary, Turner is a second year studying PPE; he was previously Disabilities Officer at OULC and had served as President of his Sixth Form College’s Students’ Union (where he was an NUS Delegate) and Chair of his local Youth Council. The other co-chair, Wadsworth, has previously been the publicity officer. When elected before last term, he said his ‘aims’ were “working with the other liberation officers to organise some fantastic intersectional events, as well as to make sure all of them are accessible [and] … to push for OULC to actively campaign for change in the surrounding areas to further Labour values rather than just through door knocking.” The new co-chairs-elect are both Wadhamites: Katie Oldham and Lucas Bertholdi-Saad, previously Secretary and Treasurer respectively. Bertholdi-Saad was also elected President of Wadham Student Union in June.
The other posts are as follows:— Treasurer: Hannah Taylor (St Hugh’s); Secretary: Tom Zagoria (St Anne’s); Women’s Officer: Zoe Hodge (Mansfield); Women’s Officer Elect: Anna Rehfisch (Hertford); Disabled Members’ Officer: Tom Wadsworth (St John’s); Publicity Officer: Seán Ó Néill (Hertford); Membership and Alumni Officer: Felix Bunting (St Anne’s); Campaigns and External Links Officer: Cllr Dan Iley-Williamson (Queen’s); Social Secretary: Sophie Corke (Hertford); LGBTQIA+ Officer: Mark Hunter (Hertford); BAME Officer: Lucas Bertholdi-Saad (Wadham); Freshers’ Representative: Mercy Haggerty (Hertford); and Ex Officio Chair: Eleanor Ormsby (Balliol).
The Senior Co-Chair (and formally President) of Oxford University Liberal Democrats in Michaelmas will be Harry Samuels, who had been Junior Co-Chair in Trinity. He succeeds Lucinda Chamberlain of Brasenose. A third year Classicist at New College, Samuels was a Member of the UK Youth Parliament in sixth form; he has been actively involved in the Liberal Democrats while at Oxford, beginning in Michaelmas 2015 as Treasurer of OULD (which office he held again in Hilary 2016); he has been a Vice-Chair of Liberal Youth England and was Co-Chair of Oxford Students for Europe in the lead up to the EU referendum. The new Junior Co-Chair, effectively President-elect, will be Alex White (Regent’s Park), another Vice-Chair at Liberal Youth, who had been OULD’s Spirits Officer last term.
The other posts are as follows:— Treasurer: Louise Kandler (LMH); Secretary: Adam Hilsenrath (LMH); Spirits Officer: Guy Butler (St Edmund’s Hall); Social Secretary: Akshay Bilolikar (Corpus Christi); Committee: Adam Higgins (St Catherine’s), Curtis Crowley (St Hugh’s), Joe Inwood (Mansfield) and John Rayner (Magdalen).
Image: MasterMan (CC BY 2.0)