Rashmi Samant wins Oxford SU Pres in highest ever turnout

Image description: The Green Oxford SU logo overlayed on a silhouette of a hand casting a vote 

The results of this year’s Oxford SU Sabbatical election leave Rashmi Samant as the victor of the race for the SU presidency. Samant, a graduate student reading for an MSc in energy systems at Linacre College, previously told the OxStu she had four priorities: decolonization and inclusivity, COVID interventions for all, access to quality mental health resources and decarbonizing the university.

This election saw 4,881 students cast 36,405 votes, an SU record. St Catherine’s College cast the highest number of votes of any college. The positions were more contested than has been usual in recent years.

Samant recieved 1966 of the 3708 cast for the position of President, more than all the other candidates combined, in a landslide victory.

According to her manifesto, Samant intends to lobby the University and Conference of Colleges to remove all statues proven to be imperialist, including Christopher Codrington’s. She will also push for residency requirements to be waived until the World Health Organisation declares the end of the pandemic, lobby to increase funding for the mental health strategy and work for convince the Conference of Colleges to divest from fossil fuels as soon as possible.

Samant’s victory sees her beat out the three other candidates for president, Marcin Pisanski, Stephanos Iossifidis and Richard Mifsud, who ran as an ‘empty chair’ candidate. Mifsud, who was running for the second time, led a campaign to leave the office of presidency unfilled.

Other candidates successfully elected include Safa Sadozai, who was elected as VP (vice president) Access and Academic Affairs and Aleena Waseem, who won office of VP Charities and Community by a landslide.

The position of VP Graduates went to Devika while Keisha Asare was elected as VP Welfare and Equal Opportunities and Oluwakemi Agunbiade won the contest for VP Women. The newly elected Student Trustees include Wesley Ding, Dhitee Goel and Bethan Adams.

Those successfully elected as NUS Delegates are Mehrin Abedin, Jade Calder, Rafiah Niha, Aaliyah Musa, Gurpreet Bharj, Otto Barrow and Zuhaira Islam. From the RAG Charity Ballot, the Local Charities to be supported will be Homeless Oxfordshire and Oxford Hospitals Charity. For National Charity students chose Beat while The Access Project was selected as the International Charity. These charities will receive up to £10,000 each.

You can find out more about the work the SU does by reading our exclusive interview with two of the outgoing Sabbatical officers here.

Image credit: Element5 digital via Unsplash