A Wadham student’s controversial ideas seem to have lost him the recent election for Wadham SU Treasurer. Last week, certain Wadhamites reacted to the “ridiculously offensive” nature of his campaign by ripping down posters from the Library door and the campaign strategy which the student had hoped “would make people talk” seemed to backfire at the elections last Friday. He lost out to the two other candidates, with even RON receiving 23 more votes overall than him.
The winning candidate, Olivia Allen, holds clearly opposing views; her manifesto read: “As someone who would love to indulge in more slutwalks and likes nothing more than a bit of Oxford Left-wing nonsense I would like you to consider me as your next SU Treasurer.”
The student’s campaign sparked debate when he condemned the use of college money to fund transport to Slutwalk, and to support Oxford Left Review and Oxford Radical Forum. His poster slogan read: “Fight Wadham’s Far Left, vote [for him] as YOUR Treasurer’ and his manifesto called for fairer distribution of college funds to the whole student body, especially those ‘who are too busy to waste their time at SU meetings debating bureaucratic and ideological motions’.”
Wadham JCR President Jahni Emmanuel commented on his defeat in the election: “I don’t think it was inevitable – I think the reason he lost was not necessarily because the posters were offensive, but because they illustrated some of his ideas which were quite controversial and not particularly popular.”
Asked whether she believed that the ripping down of posters had affected the election results, she responded “I think it was bad that the posters were removed but I don’t think it impacted on the result of the election – many of them were left up, and even the ones which were removed were in place for a significant amount of time beforehand. Furthermore, more posters were out and up after the initial ones were torn down.”
When we contacted the student, he said that “he was disappointed by the turnout.” Out of 600 students, there was only a voter turnout of 147 students. He proceeded to say that “only 11% [of Wadham student population] voted for Olivia. I will be sad to see the £30k+ intended for the other 89% students blown on more ‘slut-walks and left-wing nonsense’.”
It does seem dissapointing that only a quarter of students, approximately, voted in the elections but in a college where Feminism and Left wing views are clearly held – they recently passed a ‘zero tolerance’ sexual assault motion – it seems unlikely that his views would have ever gained mass support.