Last Friday night the incoming USU Board voted for its Executive, with Hannah Morris elected President, Tom Raue elected Vice President, John Harding-Easson elected Honorary Secretary and Sophie Stanton elected Honorary Treasurer.
The presidency was contested by Harding-Easson, of Labor Right, and Morris, an Independent. Morris won with seven votes to five. Harding-Easson then accepted a nomination for Honorary Secretary, as did Independents Directors Tim Matthews and Kade Denton. As both Matthews and Denton are first-year Directors, their early tilts at Executive positions suggest presidential ambitions. However, they were unsuccessful: Harding-Easson won the contest seven votes to five after preferences. Raue, who just last year was censured by the Board, and Stanton were elected to their positions unopposed.
The Board then determined the portfolio holders for the next year. Robby Magyar beat Kade Denton eight votes to four to chair the Queer Portfolio, and Eve Radunz beat Bebe D’Souza nine votes to three to chair the Women’s Portfolio. D’Souza was then elected unopposed to chair the Sustainability Portfolio. Magyar and Tara Waniganayaka were each elected unopposed to the positions of non-Executive member of the Electoral Committee and the Financial Committee Deputy Chair respectively. Due to their positions as Honorary Secretary and chair of the Women’s Portfolio, Harding-Easson and Radunz automatically became Directors of Student Publications.
The decision of Senate-appointed Director Emma McDonald to vote in these elections meant that a 6-6 or 4-4-4 split could have occurred, which would have been resolved by drawing names out of a hat. However, as it happened a majority of votes decided every position and portfolio. Indeed, as every contest was determined by a margin of at least two votes, McDonald could not have been crucial to any decision.
Still, McDonald has indicated that she will be “actively participating in all decision making that affects our organisation and our members”, so as long as the other Senate-appointed position remains unfilled, it is very possible that a hat draw will decide the Board’s direction on future matters.