Summary of 2018 Kent Union Elections
Kent Union’s annual election during the spring of 2018 was unlike many others, with snow, cheese and 'data loss' all in the mix of a highly contested affair, and here is InQuire’s Website News Editor, Jordan Ifield, take on the ordeal.
Last Year’s Winners:
President- Aaron Thompson VP Activates- Sasha Langeveldt VP Education- Stuart Lidbetter VP Sport- Emily Window VP Welfare- Omolade Adedapo
Out of the eventual winners, two were incumbents from the 2017/18 term, with Aaron Thompson moving from VP Activities to President, whilst Stuart Lidbetter retained his position as VP Education.
A similar scenario has occurred for this year’s election, with incumbents Sasha Langeveldt, Emily Window and Omolade Adedapo aiming to become President and , VP for Student Engagement, and VP for Welfare and Community respectively.
Campaign issues from students were largely predictable for last year’s election, with focus on gym membership for sport, study space for education and affiliation with the NUS for the President.
However, one issue that came to prominence over the course of the campaign was sexual assault, with the student led campaign We’ve Had Enough holding a protest against the crime outside the Kent Union building.
A noticeable moment of controversy occurred when the candidates were announced, with one of the questions Kent Union asking them being: “What type of cheese would you be and why?” This consequently spawned an InQuire satire piece.
Debates for each position were held across a one week period, much like they will this year, candidates fielded questions revolving anything from the UKIP society’s ‘crusades’ social or Medway’s importance at Kent, with most candidates looking able for the role they were running for.
InQuire themselves became entangled with the debates, as then Website News Editor, Bill Bowkett, was controversially prevented from moderating the presidential debate, with Editor-in-Chief Kiran Saggu taking his place.
Results night itself was delayed from the planned Friday to the subsequent Monday due to a “data loss” with the School of Pharmacy, and despite the use of the Single Transferable Vote, every candidate that won in the first round won the overall vote.