The new President-elect (left) will have to contend with past union scandalsNordin Catic with permission for Varsity

Neha Pauly has been elected Union President, narrowly avoiding a re-run after winning by a margin of eight votes.

Neha, the Union’s current Equalities Officer, won 95 votes in the uncontested race, with 87 members voting down the candidate, balloting instead to re-open nominations. The President-elect’s campaign promised value for Union members, focussing on increasing alumni donations and membership perks.

The Union has faced scandal in recent months, after Max Ghose resigned as President in June after allegations of vote rigging.

Neha’s narrow victory has been criticised by some Union members. One member told Varsity that she has “very little legitimacy as President [...] considering a lot of people won’t have voted due to the uncontested nature of the election”.

Sam Hudson, another Union member, said: “I have not seen a less convincing presidential election in my time involved in the Union.”

Neha Pauly told Varsity: “I’m very grateful to have been elected President for Easter. My only concern right now is to put on a great term in Easter for all our members, not just those who voted for me. A dub is a dub.”

Alessio D’Angelo, incoming Speakers Officer, said he is “so proud” of the victorious candidate. “I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the job,” he said.

On the narrow margin of victory, D’Angelo said: “It’s clear there are still many issues with factionalism and a marked lack of progress within the Union.”


Mountain View

Presidency unopposed as Union candidates begin campaigns

One source close to the election noted that last year’s hustings were “packed” with attendees, with some being moved from the main chamber to the balcony. Varsity has seen an image of this week’s hustings which shows only seven audience members in attendance.

Joshua Lim was voted in as Social Events Officer, beating Ewan Woods by 102 votes to 70, after he lost last election’s Debates race having received a formal warning for electoral malpractice.

The contest for Debates Officer was fiercely contested, with Felix Esche defeating Helena Stolnik Trenkić with 97 votes to 86. Louis Davidson won the uncontested race for Speakers Officer with 138 votes, and Jessica Spearman was elected as Equalities Officer with 150 nods.

The elected officers will take their posts in Easter term 2024.