Three weeks to the day after the country were unable to agree on who should be our Prime Minister, the St. Hilda’s JCR were similarly indecisive in their election for JCR President.
The election on Thursday yielded a tiebreak situation between Simran Dhaliwal and Danny Prevezer, who received an equal number of votes after the eliminated candidates.
But unlike the current national situation, there is to be no “hung JCR”. The St Hilda’s JCR Committee’s Returning Officer arranged a second election on Sunday.
In the highest voting turn-out the college has had all year, Danny Prevezer won by 106 votes to 102.
The result has been a long time coming for St. Hilda’s. Nominations for JCR President had to be opened twice after nobody initially put their name forward.
Dhaliwal, who narrowly missed out, praised the college’s “strong democratic spirit” and the “massive turnout for the elections”. She said the fact that it was a draw in the first instance showed people that their individual vote really matters.
Prevezer agrees, saying that the tie-break situation “indicates the high level of passion and interest in the electoral process and student politics at Hilda’s”.
Some Hilda’s students feel that JCR elections have a particular resonance due to issues that have arisen since the college went co-ed last year.
First year student Luke Jew said that third year students, who joined when the college was still all female, are “fed up with all the senior positions being taken by men”. He said there was a “big fear” among his year group that third years would turn out in their hoards to vote for Dhaliwal on the basis that she is female.
But when he asked the candidates at their hustings what they thought about gender-based votes, all three were against it.
Rishi Stocker, a second year at St. Hilda’s, is not convinced that the issue is one of gender, but said: “There is a general consensus that third years want to take control of the JCR positions.”
Prevezer said that gender equality is “intrinsic to the ethos of the college” and is reflected by the fact that eleven women and ten men have been voted onto the JCR committee.