Today was election day at St Mary's which is always a fantastic occasion. From early in the morning the candidates were out rounding up their support and encouraging their peers to vote. Meanwhile 104 intrepid runners drawn from the many diverse communities that go to make up the University took to the track to complete the SIMMathon in just over three and a half hours. The Level 2 Applied theatre students organised the event expertly and kept the relay running smoothly. Every candidate standing took their turn and the Athletics club kindly hung around in reserve in case anybody missed their time slot. When they were called on they keenly competed to get round the 400 metres in under a minute.
There were some great costumes - the learning resource staff came as books, human resources customised their own uniforms, Theatre Arts students dressed as costume rails and rolled the lap in their pyjamas and three of the Physical Theatre came as a donkey. Level 2 Dan even tried to get round blindfolded - which held things up a little, but was hysterical to watch. The team who'd organised the event did the final lap together in their fluorescent stewards jackets - a great celebration of a uniquely unifying event.
Almost as soon as it was over the polls closed and the long counting process began. The turnout was impressive with over 300 more voting this year than last, an early sign perhaps of a renaissance in student politics on campus. The major players still seem to be Drama and Sport, but any increase is welcome and gives the elected executive a powerful mandate to truely represent the student body.
We've been using the Alternative Vote for these elections for a while now and as usual it produced a different outcome to the election than a first past the post system, with Sam Grayson, third after the first round of voting for the Athletics Union President slowly gaining momentum to pip early front runner Aaron Huie in the fourth. The SU president next year will be Johnny Miller, whose served as AU President this year. With the Drama vote split between three candidates he was out in front from the off and safely carried a majority by the third round of voting. Congratulations to both of them.