Tara Bhagat (left) said she wanted to make the Union carbon neutral, and Leti Ryder (right) proposed a yearly Accessibility CommitteeTara Bhagat / Leti Ryder

It was an evening of broken microphones, fast-paced speeches and cutting questions as Union candidates launched their bids for Easter term on Thursday (18/11) evening.

Despite starting at least twenty minutes late, the chamber fell quiet in resolute focus as candidates offered their three minute pitches for why members should pick them.

Exactly two weeks after Andrew Graham-Dixon’s Hitler impression brought the Union into the national spotlight, candidates were keen to make the case that they were the officers who could make the Union “truly inclusive.”

The Equalities Officer candidate, James Appiah III, floated the idea of an accessible “hacking workshop” — where any member can learn how to win elections through messaging, campaigning and securing endorsements. However, Presidential candidate, Tara Bhagat, said "hacking" messages should be banned altogether, since they "act as a barrier to entry" for prospective candidates.

Presidential runner, Leti Ryder, suggested an annual Accessibility Committee, who by being independent of termly committees could provide a more robust check on the Union.

Uncontested Speakers candidate, Oliver Udy, outlined his vision to “broaden” the number of people allowed to interview speakers, beyond standing committee and to ordinary members.

Following the statements and U-Turn made by current President Keir Bradwell last week, several members were keen to know if the next President could “handle the pressure.”


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Presidential hopeful Tara Bhagat appeared resolute that she could — citing her two year experience in the Union and securing of major speakers like Jeremy Corbyn and Ted Cruz. Ryder claimed that she too was capable of managing the pressure, pointing to the reopening of the cellars and popular social event, Jazz After Dark.

One of the more challenging floor questions pressed the Debates candidates, Christopher George and Tommy Castellani, on how many speakers they had each invited this term. While George mentioned he had been on “events management” - so not responsible for speaker invites - Castellani claimed he had played a role in securing “at least 200” invitations.”

Despite its delayed start time, few left their seats as speakers entered the floor for the evening’s debate: “this house believes the future of Labour is conservative.”

Voting started on Thursday night (18/11) and will end at 6pm on Sunday (21/11).