Alyssa Shaw will serve another term as the postgraduate students’ associ- ation president, after Progress can- didates won all but five positions in elections for 2018.
But the important general secretary position has gone to former PARSA president, Chris Wilson, who ran on the ANyou ticket, after he was elected following a tight race with Aaron Wilson of Progress. Chris Wilson won by 21 votes, 336 votes to 315.
Shaw beat ANyou’s Paul Taylor by 188 votes, 435 votes to 247. Shaw will also serve as the postgraduate ANU Council member, beating Chris Wilson by 83 votes. Shaw received 362 votes, Wilson received 279 and the independent candidate, Zhizhen (Jayson) Liu, received 53.
Progress ran on a platform which included ‘transforming and introducing new community initiatives and events; introducing robust governance, accountability and policy measures; [and] running the largest ever postgraduate survey in order to understand the needs of the community.’
Shaw told Woroni over the weekend that Progress had a clear mandate to implement its policy platform, but she was disappointed on the roles the ticket missed out on, as it was felt by the team which had been working closely together. But, Shaw said, the ‘feeling from the team is very positive.’
She said losing the general secretary role was ‘particularly difficult’,
The Progress ticket candidates pictured during the campaign
pointing to the small margin which cost Progress the role.
‘Just because you’re elected on a different ticket, doesn’t mean anything. We all work together, and I hold everyone to the same expectations in their work, behaviour and conduct. We’ll make that very clear and work through it,’ Shaw said.
Shaw said she was looking to see commitments from the ANU on family accommodation for postgraduates by the end of the year, and said she expected an announcement on the virtual hall for postgraduates.
‘We’ll also be working on discussions surrounding sexual assault and harassment,’ Shaw said.
Many Progress candidates did not achieve large majorities over their ANyou rivals, often scraping to victory with a dozen or so votes. Turnout was low across the elections, however. Only around 10 per cent of the postgraduate student population voted in the elections.
ANyou’s candidate for education officer, Aries Meng, was disqualified and the candidacy declared ‘null and void’ after an allegations of offering
inducements on Chinese social media platform WeChat in exchange for votes surfaced during the campaign.
Progress was also warned after thanking students for attending a PARSA-run Friday night drinks event and not making it clear that the event was not a Progress-run campaign event.
Shaw defended the Progress ticket. ‘Progress members were wearing badges with our team name, and were talking to students,’ she told the ANU Observer last week.