Current Affairs

Ma makes it to Oxford SU Presidency but controversy surrounds Access VP election

Nikita Ma elected as President-elect of the Oxford Student Union whilst alumnus of one of the world’s most expensive boarding schools elected to VP Access.

Nikita Ma will be President of the Oxford Student Union (OUSU) for 2020-2021 after winning the Presidency in the OUSU elections. Ma, a Trinity College PPEist who served as Chair of the Student Council, was elected with 872 votes in the final round, beating her nearest competitor, Harry Sugden (St John’s College), who received 792 votes.

Commenting on her victory, Ma said “thank you to everyone who voted for me, and to everyone who has helped me with my campaign and supported me through this (very) intense journey!”

Sugden thanked his supporters and congratulated Ma on her victory, also congratulating fellow John’s student Amelia Holt on her election as Vice-President for Welfare and Equal Opportunities. Holt, who won 996 votes, defeated Guosh Liu, who won 524 votes in the final round. Holt thanked all her supporters and her opponent for “bringing important issues to light.”

Tucker Drew was elected Vice-President for Access and Academic Affairs, receiving 787 votes in the final round, ahead of his opponent Poppy Price, who received 658. Drew’s election to the role has brought some controversy, as he attended the prestigious Phillips Academy Andover from 2013-2017, which is amongst the world’s most expensive boarding schools at $57,800 per year. 47% of students receive financial aid and 13% receive full scholarships.

Asif Khan (Keble) was elected Student Trustee, with voters also choosing to re-open nominations (RON) for the second Student Trustee position. Khan received 627 votes, with RON in second with 327. Bobby Taylor (LMH) won 229 votes and Marcin Pisanski (St Anne’s) earnt 187.

Khan was also elected as an NUS delegate with 418 votes, with voters also choosing to reopen nominations for the other non-reserved NUS delegate position with 310 votes. Maryan Shah (Magdalen) was elected with 922 votes, more than the other candidates received combined. Pisanski, running for this position as well, won 269 votes and was not elected.

Three VPs were elected unopposed. Ben Farmer, a Geography finalist at St Catherine’s College, was elected as Vice-President for Charities and Community with 1285 votes, the most received by any official. Meanwhile, Lauren Bolz (an MSc student at Worcester) was elected Vice-President for Graduates with 1055 votes and Alex Foley (a DPhil candidate at Lincoln College) as Vice-President for Women with 634 votes.

3,020 students voted in the election, representing 12.9% of the electorate.