Ryder (pictured) will introduce an annual Accessibility Committee Aoife Petrie

Leti Ryder has beaten Tara Bhagat to the Cambridge Union presidency for Easter term 2022.

Ryder picked up 242 votes, beating Bhagat’s 173 by a majority of 69. According to her campaign manager, Edward Barlow, she is “delighted” with the win.

Bhagat said she would like congratulate Ryder on her win: “I am obviously disappointed but hope she is able to implement the changes the Union needs.”

Barlow put Ryder’s victory down to her successes as social events officer. Pointing to her role in revamping the cellars, he called her a “serial deliverer” and a “hands-on candidate.”

To some, Ryder’s victory came as a surprise. While both candidates have been involved in the Union for some time, Bhagat has been on standing committee twice, however this term is Ryder’s first.

Barlow stressed that this comparative lack of experience is irrelevant: “You can talk about experience all you like, but the cream always rises to the top. She had better policies and was more serious about delivering them.”

Despite Bhagat’s greater experience, some thought her decision not to attend the chamber for the announcement of results suggested her anticipation of defeat.


Mountain View

Union candidates launch bids for Easter term

Bhagat has since clarified that she could not attend due to a long standing commitment.

Against the backdrop of a speaker’s Hitler impression over two weeks ago, this election turned on how candidates plan to square inclusivity with the Union’s commitment to free speech.

While Bhagat said she would intervene as chair during debates if necessary, Ryder, when asked, made no comment. Instead, her campaign manager emphasised prevention: citing Ryder’s proposal for an Accessibility Committee to liaise with minority student groups in ensuring that the Union remains a “tolerant space.”

Other victorious candidates included Christopher George, who beat Tom Castellani to the role of debates officer with a narrow margin of 10 votes, Mahera Sarkar who secured a majority of 30 over Lily McGrail, and James Appiah III who beat Shibhangi Ghose to equalities officer by 52 votes. Oliver Udy ran uncontested for speakers officer, save the 71 votes for Re-open Nominations.

This year marks the return of in-person voting, a decision which has seen a drop in voter turnout. While the last contested Presidential race – in Lent 2021 – saw 839 members cast their ballots, just over half did the same this term.