LSESU student elections results are in

By Elena Christaki-Hedrick and Thomas Chau

Last night, LSESU announced the results of Michaelmas Term elections. The following students were elected as the 2019/2020 representatives:

  • Nico Robben – General Course President
  • Nancy Luo, Sharif Kazemi – Democracy Committee 
  • Cion Choi – NUS Delegate (Women’s) 
  • Moritz Hauschulz, Nathalie Grigorenko – NUS Delegate 
  • Sebastiano Caleffi – Mature and Part Time Students Officer 
  • Jesse Horowitz – Disabled student’s officer 
  • Edouard Panciulo – LGBT+ Students Officer 
  • Yusuf Rafique and Issam Jamaleddine – Member of Trustee Board 
  • Lars Benson, Abhilash Vishwanathula – Member of Academic Board 
  • Isha Sharma – Member of LSE Council 

The results announcement for Post-Graduate Officer has been delayed following a complaint made to the SU. At results night, the SU did not specify the nature of the complaint or who made it. However, the LSESU did indicate that it is carrying out an investigation on the complaint and that the results for Post-Graduate Officer will be announced following resolution of the investigation.

When asked about the result delay for Post-Graduate Officer, candidates declined to comment to the Beaver, excepting Ophelia Chidgey, MSc student in Human Rights and Politics and Post-Graduate Officer candidate, who told the Beaver, “we, as candidates, welcome any investigation as we uphold the values of democracy.”

When asked about the election results, Yusuf Rafique, elected Member of Trustee Board said, “I would say that I am delighted. I am happy to have the opportunity to be on the Board of Trustees to understand how the SU works and contribute through my experience.”

When asked about what he hopes to achieve as Member of Trustee Board, Rafique said, “I hope there would be more awareness about the position [Member of Trustee Board] itself. While campaigning, I was surprised that many of the people I spoke with did not even know what the Board of Trustees was. So I hope that at the end of my term, the students, especially of the post-graduates, would know more about the Board of Trustees and what they do. Secondly, I hope to increase the representation of post-graduate students in the SU because there are only two positions right now out of 12 that are postgrads… and it is not a fair representation of the post-graduate population in the LSE.”

The election saw 2,763 students, about 23% of the student body, vote for their representatives and 9,651 votes casted. This is in comparison to 2,158 voters last year who cast 7,949 votes in total.

When asked about voting turnout, Abhilash Vishwanathula, elected Member of the Academic Board said, “I was really surprised to see that the number of votes casted this year to last year increasing a lot, so it is a big thing, but I still think that it has to be more. I think it [the voter turnout] was 20-25% this time [of the student population]. It has to be at least 80 or 85%. I think the voting system has to be more user-friendly and even the LSE administration needs to encourage students to vote. If your professor tells you to vote, people listen, but if students say that, they don’t. There has to be a push from the administration, not the SU alone.”

Rafique also commented on voter turnout, “It is good that a higher number of people voted. People are becoming more aware that the elections are happening and are participating in the elections, but a lot still needs to be done because if we consider the percentage of students voted, [around] 2,700 voters out of 10,000 students is 25%, which is quite low. I think it needs to increase to at least 30 or 35%. People here should be more active in terms of what’s happening in the society around them, but I think it is definitely a step in the right direction.”

Candidates campaigned over two weeks, starting with hustings in week 4 of Michaelmas Term and campaigning around the campus in week 5.

The successful candidates now have the opportunity to fulfill their election commitments and commence their duty representing LSE students.

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