Independent candidate Jayfel Tulabing announced their decision to pull out from the upcoming University of Sydney Union (USU) Board elections earlier this morning.
In a statement to Honi, the current SRC Sexual Harassment Officer and ex-Switch member explained that they had “withdrawn from the election due to mental health concerns. I believe the USU will be in great hands with the left wing and independent candidates running. I’m excited to see the outcome of the election.”
In a post to their campaigners announcing their withdrawal, Tulabing also said their initial decision to vie for the role was prompted by the fact that there were only four other candidates earlier on in the race, leading to an automatic election that “wouldn’t have been representative of good student democracy.”
“Since the extension and inclusion of other wonderful candidates that are just as progressive and passionate as I am, I have decided to step down from the race,” they said.
They added that “being in the public eye and having my every decision and move scrutinised isn’t what I wanted,” pointing to the toxic nature of student politics and election season.
Tulabing’s withdrawal from the race reduces the Left’s share of the 2022 candidates from four to three.
There are now eight candidates running in the USU board elections; Alexander Poirier (Unity), Naz Sharifi (Independent), Madhullikaa Singh (Switch), Onor Nottle (Switch), Aydin Varol (Switch-adjacent), K Phillips (Independent), Maia Edge (Liberal), and Nicholas Dower (Colleges).
Tulabing said they will be supporting Varol, Poirier and Nottle as election season commences in the coming weeks. Campaigning will start on 30 April and voting will open on 9 May.
Disclaimer: Zara Zadro is a current member of Switch.