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TOP 4 Biggest Student Union Election Controversies

Amaani Master, BA International Relations

(Full list is available to watch via our website and YouTube channel)

  1. 2015 Co-President for Activities and Events Disqualification
    One of the candidates (Juned Khan) running for this position overspent on the £30 allowance. He had submitted a receipt for £15 for large number of photocopies, which turns out couldn’t financially be done. After disqualification, he appealed to the Returning Officer, who, after visiting the shop claiming to have printed the photocopies, found out that the shop didn’t offer photocopying at all.
  2. Sports and Societies Co-President holding a society’s money?
    Chuck, who was running again for the Co-President of Sports and Societies was found to have about £10,000 that had been kept in his personal bank account, money that was “kept hold of” for the Basketball Beyond Borders Society. After disqualification, Chuck did not come into work for a couple of weeks, with pictures surfacing of him in Rome with a Maserati. The Student Union took Chuck to court for theft and fraud, and the money was returned on the second day of the court trial.
  3. The only successful re-open nomination campaign
    Re-open nominations have only ever won once at SOAS, which was for the Black Officer role in 2008-2009. The candidate was initially going to run with his girlfriend, however, forgot to put her name down on the nomination form. Rather than win on his own, he decided to run a re-open nomination campaign with his girlfriend against himself. However, a third candidate ran against them, claiming that running a re-open nomination campaign was a waste of SU money, and the third candidate managed to win the election.
  4. 2005 Campaign Elections
    Previous rules for campaigns have stated that students should not spend “in excess” rather than an actual figure. This caused problems when a student spent £200, with one of the main things going towards printing a large number of clocks that said “Vote Mushtaq” on them. The candidate was disqualified, after submitting receipts that were over £200.

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