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Mahi Joshi takes Union Presidency

Mahi Joshi will be Union President in Trinity Term 2020, with her ‘Imagine’ slate taking all four Officer positions. Union Librarian Joshi won with 551 first preferences to Chengkai Xie’s 448, meeting quota in the first round.

Candidates on the ‘Imagine’ slate also secured the positions of Librarian-Elect (Harry Deacon), Treasurer-Elect (Jack Solomon), and Secretary (Melanie Onovo). Onovo also met quota in the first round with 560 first preferences.

Standing Committee was uncontested, with all seven candidates, four from ‘Imagine’ and three from ‘Clean Slate’, elected. Geneva Roy, also of the ‘Imagine’ slate was elected first, with 177 first preferences, with ‘Imagine’ candidates occupying the first three elected positions.

The election of Mahi Joshi as President of the Oxford Union comes after a turbulent term of Union politics, with the resignation of President Brendan McGrath over the treatment of blind student Ebenezer Azamati after his removal from the No-Confidence debate earlier this term. The scandal lead to the resignations of numerous senior staff and officers, including Presidential candidate and ex-Secretary Chengkai Xie.

Speaking to Cherwell about the result, Mahi Joshi said: “It is an honour to have been elected. In the aftermath of what has been an incredibly challenging term, my team and I hope to bring about institutional change in the Union by reforming access policy and provision, transparency and communication.

“We are optimistic about the Union’s future, and are so thankful to everyone who came out in support of us and our vision.”

Chengkai Xie declined to comment on the result at this time.

Those members elected will be expected to follow through with the pledges made in their manifestos. The ‘Imagine’ slate’s pledges include a restructuring of access committee and reserved accessible seating, as well as reforming the disciplinary procedures as well as staff access training and DBS checks. ‘Imagine’ also promises a ‘green Union’, with vegan options in the bar, banning plastic cups and introducing recycling bins.

The ‘Clean’ slate claimed that it would review a policy change on inclusion and staff relation as well as have Presidential open hours and to introduce a welfare officer. Clean slate also pledged access prices for socials as well as an environmental impact review.

Mahi Joshi, Harry Deacon and Jack Solomon will serve their terms as officers in Trinity Term 2020, while the Secretary Melanie Onovo will assume her post next term in Hilary.

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