Two new Sheffield Students’ Councillors have been announced after over four months of petitioning and campaigning to introduce the roles.
Joel Kirk has been announced as the new Societies Councillor, with Matthew Graves the new Sports Councillor.
Kirk was elected with 217 of 368 votes, beating Dot Hakim and S Tanusha Sivanesan.
In reaction to winning, he said: “It was a pleasure to start campaigning for the creation of the position last year and I am genuinely honoured to be elected to represent all 350 plus societies on council.
“I’ll ensure that their voices are heard so that key issues like storage and room bookings won’t go unsolved. As the first ever Societies Councillor I’ll set the precedent of this position. Thank you to everyone who supported me over the short campaigning period, I won’t let you down.”
Graves, unopposed, was elected with 284 of 345 votes.
He said: “Becoming SU Sports Councillor is a great opportunity. I don’t have very long at all to make an impact, but I’ll be using the coming couple of months to do all I can into pressuring the University to increase its funding to Sport Sheffield.
“As an organisation Sport Sheffield runs phenomenally efficiently, receiving £90,000 per year from the University itself and £80,000 per year from the SU. It sickens me that the University is satisfied with this, with a budget of around fifty times that of the SU.
“There’s a number of avenues I’ll be taking to look to level the playing field when it comes to BUCS competitions, and I can’t wait to get started.”
The councillors, in addition to sitting on SU Council, will have ex officio positions on Societies Committee and Sports Committee, acting as a link between the bodies.
The introduction of the roles was initially suggested at an SU Council meeting in November.
After the proposal was rejected, Societies Committee and Sports Committee teamed up to petition for a referendum.
The petition reached the required threshold of 1,000 signatures to force a referendum, and it was decided that the referendum would be held alongside SU Officer elections.
It passed, with 2107 votes for and 486 votes against, with 295 abstentions.
The new councillors will have their roles until the end of the academic year.
Additional reporting by Ben Warner