Current Affairs

RON wins Union election for first time ever

After a term of chaos and scandals, RON (reopen nominations) has beaten the only Oxford Union Presidential candidate in the Trinity Term election.

RON, which beat “Hope” slate candidate Jack Solomon by 325 first preferences to 300, forces the nominations to reopen from now for 72 hours. RON met quota in the election. This is the first time RON has ever won the Presidential vote in the history of the institution.

Candidates on the ‘Hope’ slate secured the positions of Librarian-Elect (Chengkai Xie), Treasurer-Elect (Tamzin Lent), and Secretary (Adam Roble). All three met quota.

Candidates for election were hit with scandal on all sides this term. The ‘Elevate’ slate, headed up by former Presidential candidate Harry Deacon, fell apart after messages from a candidate for standing committee on the slate encouraging members to register to vote made light of the murder of George Floyd, and all four officer candidates failed to nominate.

An unofficial RON campaign was run against ‘Hope’ presidential candidate Jack Solomon after allegations of racism emerged. Jack Solomon was hit by several allegations from committee and ex-committee members that he had called Secretary Cansu Uyguroglu a “terrorist” on multiple occasions.

Uyguroglu, who declined to comment to The Oxford Blue on the election result, told Cherwell, that on meeting Mr Solomon “he was surprised by my name and asked where I was from. Upon informing him I am from Turkey, he said that then I am surely a terrorist.” Uyguroglu said that “I spoke to him privately after this occasion to tell him it wasn’t okay to call me a terrorist, and thought he was being receptive to this.”

Jack Solomon told The Oxford Blue that the claim is “libellous” and that he “refutes [it] entirely.”

Uyguroglu and other committee members posted statuses to their personal Facebooks calling for Jack Solomon to be RONed in the light of these comments.

Mirza Sameer Baig Chughtai, the Senior Access Officer for Hilary Term 2020, has made further claims against Jack Solomon in a public Facebook post. In his widely shared statement, Baig Chughtai said “Mr Jack Solomon stated that ‘Palestine does not exist’,” in response to Spencer Cohen, Librarian for Hilary Term 2020’s, discussion of the motion ‘This House Would Start A New Cold War With China’ on Debate Day.

Baig Chughtai said,”Upon [Cohen] highlighting the importance of discussing the plight of the Uyghur population of China whilst also paralleling it to the Palestinian plight in order to demonstrate his point about the importance of holding nations accountable to human rights violations…[the Librarian Elect] also chuckled and commented on how Mr Jack Solomon does not view Palestinians as human beings and therefore does not believe that they have any human rights.”

Zeus Chen has been elected first to The Standing Committee, and Alana Brown (Union Graduate Officer) has topped Secretary’s Committee.

The Oxford Union, Jack Solomon and Harry Deacon have been contacted for comment.