It was an evening of broken microphones, quick speeches and cutting questions as Union candidates launched their applications for the Easter term on Thursday (11/18) evening.
Despite starting at least twenty minutes late, the chamber fell silent with resolute focus as the candidates offered their three-minute arguments as to why members should choose them.
Exactly two weeks after Andrew Graham-Dixon’s Hitler impression put the Union in the national spotlight, the candidates were keen to argue that they were the officers who could make the Union âtruly inclusiveâ.
Equality officer candidate James Appiah III pitched the idea of ââan accessible âhack workshopâ – where any member can learn how to win elections through messages, campaigns and endorsements. However, presidential candidate Tara Bhagat said “hacking” messages should be banned altogether, as they “constitute a barrier to entry” for potential candidates.
Presidential candidate Leti Ryder suggested an annual accessibility committee, which, being independent of the quarterly committees, could provide more robust oversight of the Union.
The undisputed speaker candidate, Oliver Udy, presented his vision to âexpandâ the number of people allowed to interview speakers, beyond the standing committee and ordinary members.
Following statements and the U-turn from current President Keir Bradwell last week, several members were keen to know if the next president could “handle the pressure”.
Presidential hopeful Tara Bhagat appeared determined she could – citing her two-year experience in the Union and securing major speakers like Jeremy Corbyn and Ted Cruz. Ryder claimed she too was able to handle the pressure, highlighting the reopening of the cellars and the popular social event, Jazz After Dark.
One of the hardest questions to ask pressed Debate candidates Christopher George and Tommy Castellani on how many speakers they had each invited this quarter. While George mentioned that he had been on “event management” – therefore not responsible for speaker invitations – Castellani claimed he had played a role in securing “at least 200” invitations.
Despite its delayed start time, few left their seats when speakers entered the room for the evening’s debate: ‘This chamber thinks the future of Labor is conservative’.
Voting began Thursday evening (11/18) and will end at 6:00 p.m. Sunday (11/21).
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