Zaynab Ahmed celebrating her winTobia Nava/Varsity

Current Undergraduate Access, Education and Participation (AEP) Officer Zaynab Ahmed has been elected Cambridge SU’s Undergraduate President.

She got 53% of the vote, beating her opponent Zak Coleman by 140 votes in the final round.

Coleman is the incumbent Undergraduate President, meaning both candidates were re-running for a position as sabbatical officers.

Voting took place over four days and coincided with elections of the other sabbatical officers, the position of University Councillor and the reading week referendum. Turnout was 12%, even lower than last year’s figure of 18%.

Amelia Jabry, who is also a current sabbatical officer, won her election for the position of Postgraduate President. Ahmed and Jabry’s success marks an unusual achievement given they are the first candidates to successfully re-run for sabbatical roles in at least seven years.

Ahmed’s key pledges include pressuring the University to re-evaluate undergraduate workloads, connect decolonisation campaigns to SU funding, and pressure colleges into implementing proper training for pastoral tutors dealing with student welfare.

As AEP Officer, Ahmed has campaigned to have all lectures recorded and made available to students online. Her manifesto outlines her aim to build on this by bringing in closed caption recording of lectures.

Undergraduate President was significantly less hotly contested this election when compared with previous years, with four candidates running last year and as many as five fighting it out in 2019.

Reacting to her win, Ahmed told Varsity: “I’m absolutely delighted to be elected as your new Undergraduate President. I’m so grateful to students for giving me the opportunity to build on my existing work.”

“I will continue to push for an accessible, decolonised and fair Cambridge which takes its students seriously. My first sabbatical year has give me a head start on lobbying the University, and this continuity will be hugely beneficial for both the SU and students.”


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She continued: “Moving forward, my first priority is to make the SU easier for students to interact and engage with, so that our campaigns are driven by the student voice.”

On her re-election to the position of Postgraduate President, Amelia Jabry said: “Thank you to everyone who voted. I am extremely pleased to again be in a position to deliver actionable change to improve the postgraduate experience at this university.”

Ahmed confounded Varsity’s election poll, in which 19.9% said they would vote for her, while 30.5% said that they would vote for Coleman.

Reflecting on the result, Coleman told Varsity: “I’m really pleased to see such a strong team elected to lead the SU for another year. I’ve worked with Zaynab for the last year and in that time, as well as during this campaign, she has proven herself time and time again to be an incredible campaigner for students, as well as an all-round wonderful person.”

“The SU will be in safe hands with her as the new undergraduate president and I’m excited to see what she achieves in the role! I also want to thank everyone who voted for me and helped in my campaign. I’m very grateful for the support and excited to keep pushing ahead on my main projects for the remainder of my term.”

Other contested elections saw Eseosa Akojie elected as Women’s Officer and Neve Atkinson win the role of the undergraduate Access, Education and Participation Officer. Sam Carling saw off stiff competition to be elected University Councillor in this year's most contested election.

Uncontested elections saw Kefeshe Bernard chosen as BME Officer, Elia Chitwa elected as Disabled Students’ Officer and Daisy Thomas stepping into the role of Welfare and Community Officer.