The Connect ticket has claimed a third successive student union election victory, despite a subtle shift in two party preferred voting to the left-wing Progressive Focus. In 2012 Connect won 82 per cent of the popular vote, but that fell slightly to about 75 per cent this year. Connect won all positions contested by at least two candidates, and also picked up the nine student council positions that went uncontested by Progressive Focus. These included Queer Officer, International Officer, Post-graduate Officer and Welfare Officer, plus the co-ordinating and representative roles for the Brunswick and Bundoora campuses. Progressive Focus picked up one National Union of Students (NUS) delegate, and two General Representative positions.
The Connect ticket was this year made up of members from both factions of the Labor Party and a large cluster of unaffiliated students, while Progressive Focus had members from the Socialist Alternative, the Greens, and other left-wing groups. About 2370 votes were cast in this year's election, up from 1800 in 2012. The biggest swings away from Connect were seen in the Environment (-10 per cent), Womyn's (-8 per cent) and City Representative (-7 per cent) positions. The Education (-4 per cent) and Clubs & Societies (-2 per cent) positions also saw small swings away from Connect. General Secretary (78-22 2PP) and City Co-ordinator (74-26 2PP) voting was unchanged from last year.
The RMIT Student Union Council (SUC) is made up of 25 elected student representatives who meet monthly to discuss student affairs, authorise spending from the various departments, and formulate policy responses to university issues. Elected NUS delegates attend meetings of the National Union of Students to represent the students of RMIT University and formulate national policy responses.
Here's a list of results as they came in:
WOMYN'S OFFICER: Gabriela Gonzalez-Forward (Connect) 594. Thakshila Tilakaratne (Progressive Focus) 264. Informal: 10.
CITY REPRESENTATIVE: Cam Petrie (Connect) 1366. Julia Vogue (Progressive Focus) 550. Informal: 154.
CLUBS & SOCIETIES OFFICER: Deane Carter (Connect) 1619. Kath Larkin (Progressive Focus) 525. Informal: 140.
Five (5) General Representatives are elected, along with three (3) alternate representatives. Two of the five will become President and Media Officer, meaning two alternates are promoted and one is left as a stand-by.
GENERAL REPRESENTATIVES: Branwell Travers (Connect), Andrei Ghoukassian (Connect), Alexandra Klages (Progressive Focus), James Michelmore (Connect), Sarah Jackson (Connect), Sedar Altun (Connect), Anita Rolfe (Progressive Focus), Yang Liu (Connect)
NUS DELEGATES: Ariel Zohar (Connect), James Michelmore (Connect), Benjamin Solah (Progressive Focus), Shuai Li (Connect), Yasmine Lintvelt (Connect), Cameron Petrie (Connect), Sedar Altun (Connect)
And a list of the uncontested positions:
WELFARE OFFICER: Michael Kean (Connect)
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS OFFICER: Jingyi Rong (Connect)
POST-GRADUATE STUDENTS OFFICER: Johan Romeo (Connect)
QUEER OFFICER(S): Christine Starvaggi & Brenton Spink (Connect)
BRUNSWICK CO-ORDINATOR: Shenali Perera (Connect)
BUNDOORA CO-ORDINATOR: Andrew Tedja (Connect)
BRUNSWICK REPRESENTATIVE: Sarah Pizzonia (Connect)
BUNDOORA EAST REPRESENTATIVE: Anthony Azar (Connect)
BUNDOORA WEST REPRESENTATIVE: Yasmine Lintvelt (Connect)
CATALYST EDITOR(S): Alan Weedon, Allison Worrall & Broede Carmody (Connect)
Disclosure: Andrei is a member of the Connect ticket, and campaigned with them in 2012 and 2013. He is not a member of political party. Thank you to Branwell Travers for crunching the numbers.