Connect loses council majority for the first time

By William Ton | @williamhton

RMIT’s student union election has ended with a hung council after Belong and Connect each won 12 elected positions.

A tie in the council could see a vote for the next RMIT University Student Union (RUSU) President end in a stalemate unless one party can convince a member from the opposing party to vote for their presidential candidate, or members of any parties abstaining from the vote.

RUSU introduced an Indigenous Officer in the 2017 election, which brought the council to an even number of votes.

RUSU told Catalyst it was confirming the process [for a hung council] with the Returning Officer and could not comment further.

At the time of the election, Connect had planned to put forward Ella Gvildys as their presidential candidate while Belong planned on nominating Sadaf Hadi.

This is the first time in Connect’s history the party has not won a majority in the council.

The party has won the past eight elections since 2011 with an absolute majority.

Belong was formed this year and was contesting their first election for the 2019 council.

After the election results were announced, Belong was elected to council positions including Education Officer, International Officer, Postgraduate Officer, Activities Officer, Sustainability Officer, Clubs and Societies Officer, City Coordinator and Representative.

Connect won the positions of General Secretary, Indigenous Officer, Women’s Officer, Queer Officers, Vocational Education Officer, Brunswick Coordinator and Representative, Bundoora Coordinator and East and West Representatives.

Connect was elected to two general representative positions while Belong won three.

Belong will hold the Catalyst Magazine office from 1 November 2018.

Both Belong and Connect were elected to three NUS delegate spots apiece, while Left Voice won one position.

Party policies and candidate statements can be found on the RUSU website.

C = Connect
B = Belong
LV = Left Voice
Council Position Elected
General Secretary Aditya Sharma (C)
Education Officer Ameet Kumar (B)
Welfare Officer Haroon Esmail (B)
International Officer Suraj Loomba (B)
Postgraduate Officer Sai Arun Kiran Karthik Sunkara (B)
Women’s Officer Ma Beatrice Co (C)
Queer Officers Adam See Kee & Caitlin Frost (C)
Indigenous Officer Allison Toby (C)
Activities Officer Jessica Dargan (B)
Sustainability Officer Anand Tripathy (B)
Clubs and Societies Officer Kapil Khanna (B)
Vocational Education Officer Hafiuzllah Jan (C)
Brunswick Coordinator Mia Beauchamp (C)
Brunswick Representative Victoria Came (C)
Bundoora Coordinator Caitlin Agra (C)
Bundoora East Representative Mustafa Jahani (C)
Bundoora West Representative Chantelle Hopkins (C)
City Coordinator Pawan Raturi (B)
City Representative Mona Makhija (B)
General Representatives
General Representative (1) Lily Hawkins (C)
General Representative (2) Ella Gvildys (C)
General Representative (3) Sadaf Hadi (B)
General Representative (4) Shubham Sharma (B)
General Representative (5) Prashanth Kumar (B)
Alternate General Representative (1) Liam Parry (LV)
Alternate General Representative (2) Abena Dove (C)
NUS Delegates
NUS Delegate (1) Daniel Hoogstra (C)
NUS Delegate (2) Sadaf Hadi (B)
NUS Delegate (3) Aditya Sharma (C)
NUS Delegate (4) Shubham Sharma (B)
NUS Delegate (5) Natalie Acreman (LV)
NUS Delegate (6) Eamonn Pinnuck (C)
NUS Delegate (7) Pawan Raturi (B)
Catalyst Editors
Lekihika Jain, Rana El-Mahmoud
and Emily Cork (B)


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