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EUSA Sabbatical Team 2015-16: Post-Election Interviews

ByEthan DeWitt

Mar 20, 2015

On Thursday night, results of the four sabbatical races in Edinburgh University Students Association (EUSA) were announced in the Teviot Debating Hall.   The Student caught up with the winners in each race to hear their reactions.


President-elect: Jonny Ross-Tatam

Vote count2508

Candidate Field: 4

Rounds: Achieved quota in fourth round of voting

11021525_1599736453571878_484141369246398468_nBy all social media metrics your campaign was trailing in second for most of the race.  Were you surprised by the result?

Absolutely gobsmacked.  You could tell when you looked  at my acceptance speech.  Yeah I don’t know—I honestly thought we wouldn’t win.  You know, we had—we were in a good position to start with.  We had great ideas, great campaign team, great networks around the University, but the campaign didn’t really get off to the best of starts.  Theo ran a great campaign and put some really good issues out there.

What do you think turned the election around for you?

Halfway through, we sat down and said, “You know we’re not doing anything here.  We’re not really doing ourselves justice.”  And we turned it around and obviously it was enough.  And—you know I’m really pleased the way we ran our campaign.  Really pleased the values were out there.  I was gonna be pleased whether we won or lost, but it’s even better that the results came out this way.  But I think Theo ran a superb campaign.  Really came out with some great ideas.  If he’s willing to,  I’m really really keen to work with him this year.

Vice President-elect Academic Affairs: Imogen Wilson

Vote Count1157

Candidate Field4

RoundsAchieved quota in fifth round of voting


Were you surprised by your win?

“Was I surprised?”—yeah.  [Laughs.]  No the best tactic is always to assume that you’ve lost and then be pleasantly surprised when you win.  So I was kind of hoping for the best and expecting the worst, because that’s the only way to go about it.

How do you think you were able to distinguish yourself in this race?

I think that prioritising the gender studies department—none of the candidates did that—I think that got me a lot of support.  And that’s definitely going to be one of my priorities next year.

Did you have any feelings of trepidation throughout?

I didn’t really have feelings of trepidation because the candidate I thought would have beat me, if that happened, was Calum Mackie, and I think he’d done a really good job and had a really strong campaign and I believed a lot of his manifesto.  And we had a lot of overlap as well, so I think he would have done great.  And we’re both in second year and like both of us have spoken about it and we would have run next year if that—if things had gone badly.

Do you think you’ll work with him next year then?

Yeah.  I’d like to think so, yeah.  He had a lot of stuff on widening access that I sort of touched on, but not as much.  And I know he is actually a widening access student, so I’d like to talk to him more about what he’d like to do with that.

How would you summarise your campaign effort overall?

It’s been a big effort.  And I’m glad that it’s over.  And I’m glad that I won!  Yay!

Vice President-elect Societies and Activities: Andy Peel

Vote Count: 1456

Candidate Field6

RoundsAchieved quota in first round of voting


Your race had the most candidates and was initially slated as being the closest, but ended up being the opposite.  Were you expecting such a definitive win?

No, I couldn’t believe it.  I had no—I came in hoping for the best, expecting the worst.

What were the factors you’d say contributed to your victory?

I want to thank Cordelia here, who helped me make my video.  I think that was a huge part of what got me votes.  And my campaign team for just being so committed and giving up so much of their time.  Helping me do the lecture shootouts, coming out to Easter Bush with me, going out to Kings and everywhere so thanks to them.

What was the biggest challenge you faced?

Breaking the kind of, the kind of clique—not necessarily the clique, but the kind of—I don’t want to say the ‘EUSA hack’,  but.  It happens every year and I kind of wanted to stand to be the guy that proves that you don’t have to be—you can come from anywhere and win an election.  And I’m really glad I could do that and I hope that EUSA benefits from that in years to come.

Vice President-elect Services: Urte Macikenaite

Vote Count1020

Candidate Field3

RoundsAchieved quota in first round of voting

11075860_10153729673404698_135898539_nYour race was a bit of a blowout.  Did you think it would be?

Um, would it be rude to say “yes”?  [Laughs.]  I mean I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so much of a majority but I felt—I felt fairly confident.  I did my best.

Do you know what you did that made the most impact?

I think really talking to people on the doors and actually being out and campaigning and talking to students really makes the biggest impact.  I mean there’s absolutely no substitute for it.

Did you ever feel overwhelmed by it?

This is undeniably the most stressful and exhausting thing I have ever done.  In my life.  It is—yeah, it’s incredibly hard.  And I cried a lot.  [Laughs.]  And I had several big breakdowns.  But it was worth it in the end.

Were there any doubts before you ran?

About the campaign in general?  Um, no, everyone has doubts.  I was really nervous about the debate to be honest.  I don’t speak very much in front of big crowds and stuff like that so I was really really nervous for that.  And once I thought I did okay in that it kind of gave me—gave me a boost.  And of course, you know, I was constantly nervous about the entire thing really.  [Laughs.]

How do you feel going forward?

I’m really happy and I’m really excited to get to work!  That’s it really.

By Ethan DeWitt


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