Incumbent SU Welfare Vice-President Scott Ahearn will retain the post for another year following his victory in the uncontested Welfare race. Ahearn won the election with a majority vote of 77 per cent to Re-open Nominations total of 23 percent.
Ahearn stated that he was “honoured and privileged” to have been re-elected to the Welfare Office, and that he hoped it was a “testament that people feel I’ve done a good job and they’re willing to take me on for one more year”.
For the coming year Ahearn says he would like to see a “united Union” and that his priority for the year will be the personal student cases dealt with through the Welfare Office. He says he will work to further highlight the services available to students including running new advertising campaigns.
Ahearn has run for the position of Welfare Vice-President three times, and felt that this year’s race differed greatly from those before as he was uncontested, and found it more difficult to assemble a campaign team. “It was harder to get people to commit to canvassing, to ask them for the third time to take two days to campaign.”
Ahearn was criticised by some for actively campaigning for James Williamson during the polling days, despite denying that he was on a ticket. “I supported James because I felt he was the best…if it was two way [that would have been being on a ticket]”. There are reports that many students chose Re-Open Nominations as Ahearn wasn’t fully committed to campaigning for his own re-election. Ahearn refutes the idea that he was canvassing for Williams first and himself second “I had my manifestoes in my hand…there was one person in every building [campaigning].”
However he stands by his record as Welfare Officer and said that he felt the RON vote was “the norm” for an uncontested election despite any criticism. “To be honest I expected higher because of the Facebook campaigns [for RON].”