Astrid Smallenbroek was convincingly re-elected as Union president last night, taking 80.2% of the vote.
In an election overshadowed by poor turnout, Smallenbroek said she would be making mental health and seating space her top priorities in her first days back in office.
She said: “I think mental wellbeing is a really big one on my list, another one is just seating space for students to be able to sit down in the atrium and just eat their lunch and relax and things like that.”
On the first 100 days of her second term, she told Brig: “I think I will be laying down a lot of the groundwork. It’s going to be quite a calm time, since it’s during the summer, so students won’t be around. So I’ll really be focusing on making sure I get all the groundwork in place before the hecticness of freshers starts!”
Smallenbroek took the win over her rival Ryan Peteranna by 852 votes. Meanwhile, the other landslide victory was in the VP Communities race, where incumbent Jamie Grant took 66% of the vote, defeating Women’s Equalities Officer Rachel Bradshaw.
It was also a night of close results, with the VP Education and Sports Union president being won by just a handful of votes.
Daniel Wright was elected as VP Education by just eight votes over rival Georgia Laverick, and Sports Union president Caitlin Ormiston was elected with 685 votes to netball president Ellie West’s 668.
Turnout was just 1,526, down 25.9% on last year’s turnout. This could be due to striking lecturers, with fewer students on campus to be affected by campaigning by candidates.
Ryan Peteranna congratulated the new team on their election: “[I] hope they have an enjoyable and productive year.
“I meant it when I said they will work to make students matter, because I know they have the skills and dedication necessary to achieve this. I wish them every success in their endeavours.”
Upon being re-elected, VP Communities Jamie Grant said: “Thank you so much for this, it’s a real confirmation of all the work that we’ve done this year.
“Thank you to my campaign team, my loved ones, my friends. Thank you to Rachel, you put up a fantastic campaign – you’ve given me sleepless nights, thank you so much guys. Let’s have a great year ahead of us.”
The executive officer roles filled were:
- Health promotions officer – Siobhan Lamb
- Environment and ethics officer – Gina Bartusch
- Sports Union participation and engagement officer – Jessica McGurk
- NUS delegates – Anuraag Mukhia and Henrietta Mochrie
All other positions remain unfilled until the by-eleciton next semester.
The new team officially takes office at the start of June. See the latest issue of Brig Newspaper, for full coverage of the election, out March 16.