Posted inOpinion

Why I’m Running for Oxford SU President: Richard Mifsud

As part of its coverage of the Oxford SU Election, The Oxford Blue invited all candidates for the role of President to submit an op-ed detailing their manifesto commitments ahead of the election.

All candidates for the role of President were given the same opportunity and the same specification for their piece.

Some candidates elected not to submit a op-ed piece.

Pieces were edited for grammar, spelling, and clarity of expression only.

The Oxford Blue endorses no particular candidate in the SU Election. The views expressed below are the candidates’ own and do not represent the views of The Oxford Blue.

It is election season at Oxford University SU – one of the highlights of the year that no one ever notices. We have the same parade of well-meaning individuals who all promise that they will reform the SU, and who all, after the voting period, will ultimately be as well remembered as the previous year’s, or the one before that. They all claim change, and every year we don’t see any difference. 

This campaign is different. Firstly, if elected, I won’t take up the presidency, and will tell the SU and the university to spend £21,000 on something more worthwhile than the President’s salary. Secondly, I have a whole campaign team of woolly animals to support this empty chair campaign, led adeptly by my chief campaign officer, Thespy Bear. All of us here at the empty chair campaign have been bravely not sitting on chairs, and instead getting increasingly more uncomfortable on the floor every day just to emphasize our point that we don’t think there should be a President. 

Why now? Oxford University SU spends over £21,000 on this Presidency, and for what reason? Do we ever notice what they do? Can you name three things that the previous President has done in the past year? What about the previous year? How many questions can you get in this one paragraph before you go “ARGH! This isn’t a tutorial – why are you asking me too many questions?”

Here is my point – the Oxford University SU fails to represent a significant number of the student body. They are especially detached from the usual student experience, and only represent the tiny minority who are interested in student politics. I am more than happy for them to exist, but I don’t think they should be paid to do it. 

Therefore, if elected, I will NOT take up the position, and do everything I possibly can to ensure that it remains vacant for the following year. I will recommend to the SU and the university that they should find a much better use of £21,000, like using it for bursaries, increasing mental health support, heck – even giving every member of the university £10 to go and spend on sweets. Perhaps the £21,000 should be spent on Thespy Bear, who said that, after spending two weeks on the floor, he could do with some deluxe spa treatment.  

You might think that I am a joke candidate and I have no chance of being elected – but last year 481 people voted for me. In 2013, Louis Trup won by a significant margin, as he made the leap from joke candidate to winner. This is your chance to tell the Oxford University SU how little they matter to the normal student. Vote Richard Mifsud for an empty chair next year. 

And now for something totally different, for those not interested in politics, WE HAVE A PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION!!! Yes, you heard it right – we are running a PHOTO COMPETITION WITH A PRIZE (for the best picture of an empty chair) to celebrate our campaign. If you send your submission to [email protected] along with your name and college, then you are in for A CHANCE OF WINNING A (£3) BOX OF CHOCOLATES POSTED TO YOUR PIGEONHOLE!!! I will share some of the pictures on my Facebook. (Please also state whether you want your photo to be anonymous or not – I will assume anonymous unless otherwise mentioned in the picture. The deadline is 5pm on Thursday 10th Feb 2022, just before voting finishes!!!). 

It’s time for Oxford University SU to wake up, and not be given a president. Vote Richard Mifsud for NO Oxford SU president next year.