Sheffield Students’ Union has elected a new team of SU Councillors, with the winners announced online on Wednesday 4 November.
The results came after a short 24-hour voting period to choose the 46 departmental Councillors, eight representative Councillors as well as the Sports, Societies and Ethical and Environmental Councillors.
But the turnout for this year’s elections fell for the second year in a row to 11%. Last year’s turnout was 12.6%, down from 15% in 2018.
But SU President, Beth Eyre, said she was “really impressed” by this year’s turnout.
“We reduced the voting period from three days to 24 hours this year, so we expected to be slightly down, but the results were really good: 3,390 voters compared to 4,038 last year.
“We also were up on nominations at 214 compared to 166 last year. It’s clear our students want their voices heard. I’m really looking forward to working with the councillors to make sure the SU is representing and supporting our students in the best possible way.”
A few departments have either had no nominations or the winner has resigned from the position.
No student nominated themselves to be the Civil & Structural Engineering Councillor, while the new Russian and Slovakian Studies Councillor winner has already stepped down. Due to this, the SU Council will decide whether to run a by-election for these roles in the coming weeks.
However, other newly elected members are already getting stuck into their roles.
Joseph Rebak, a third year History student and the new departmental councillor, told Forge Press he was “looking forward to ensuring the student voice was heard loud and clear.
“My most immediate concern is on expanding access to study space. Sheffield Hallam University has opened up their library facilities to students for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and I think our university is just as capable.
“The University of Sheffield’s response has been insufficient. Students are given only a very small window to book study space in the IC and Western Bank, making it impractical for many, particularly commuter students, to attend.”
The previous academic year saw the SU Council pass the ‘Fast Fashion Free Campus’ policy and eradicate the selling of bottled water in the SU. The Council also secured 100% furlough pay for all staff on campus backdated throughout the whole of the first national lockdown.
The Council will continue to work as the highest decision-making body in the Students’ Union in a year that will see more challenges to students through the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.