These are the four candidates vying for the most important student position in Oxford. On Thursday of 6th Week, thousands from across the University will go to the polls to decide which one of them gets it.
As President of Oxford University Student Union, the winner will represent the views of 18,000 undergraduates and postgraduates to the University, the City Council, the National Union of Students, the government and the world.
It is a sabbatical position that brings with it a salary of around £16,000. But it’s not plain sailing.
OUSU Presidents must contend with irreconcilable student factions on the one hand, apathy among its members on the other. They will be expected to win battles with a University that weilds more power than the Student Union. And they have only twelve months in which to make their mark on an institution that is notoriously difficult to change.
Anyone can stand for the position: all that is required is a £50 deposit, which is returned except in the case of extreme electoral malpractice.
The amount of campaign materials that can be produced is strictly limited and monitored by the Returning Officer, who issues barcode stickers for all posters. Each candidate may only have one webpage, usually a Facebook group, and there are complicated rules governing when and how other candidates can be criticised.
Some candidates choose to stand independently, while others form part of a slate, equivalent to a political party in Parliament. These slates might simply be a group who share a particular vision for OUSU, or representatives of a political group such as Oxford University Labour Club. Only a certain number of candidates for sabbatical, officer and delegate positions may stand in any one slate.
The results for this year’s election will be announced on Friday of 6th week, after which the winner will have more than two terms to prepare for their year in charge.