Any of the candidates for OUSU president would make good leaders. Alex Bartram is paternal and statesmanlike, the Great Dane of the Balliol JCR. Jane Cahill’s vast and well-oiled campaign machine hangs over the election like a Death Star, but if we had to pick someone to rule the galaxy, she’d be high on the list. Louis Trup is the best combination of inclusivity and sandals since Jesus Christ.
But our vote is going to ReclaimOUSU’s Nathan Akehurst. Jane’s pledge to work for a better OUSU headquarters is important, and Alex has best scoped out the needs of the average student. But this is an important period for higher education, with the privatisation of loans as grim a spectre as the wanton slashing of the humanities.
And when the news comes through that tuition fees are being raised to £16k, or that government funding for universities is being reduced further, Jane and Alex will speak up. But Nathan will be outside Tory HQ leading the protests: we know what he believes, and we know that he has the utmost political integrity.
These are bigger issues than mug-painting and exam feedback. It will say a lot for the megaphone-bearer to be an Oxford student, and Nathan will represent us with aplomb. He’s no mug, having a history of thoughtful and eloquent contributions to our Comment section, so don’t think he’s not capable of the diplomacy necessary for the job.
Louis Trup has done his work, with a re-engaged electorate tapping its feet to his folksy hust roadshow. Let’s not spoil the joke by running him through with his own anti-establishment sword. Cahill is smart and principled, but her manifesto does not do her justice, whereas Akehurst has a bold but achievable policy on fines, and is backed by a laudable pledge to use impact evaluation tools for JCR charities.
For our money, Bartram would also make a fine President. His points about rent are more informed than anyone else’s, and his ideas about vacation residence and faculty running are as sharp as you’d expect from anyone with his experience and intellect. If you want a safe pair of hands, go for Team Alex. But the brave vote goes to Akehurst.
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