Guild Election 2015: The Numbers

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Guild_Elections_2015 (1)The votes have been counted and the winners have been announced, but before Murdoch University’s 40th Guild take office, here is the breakdown of this years numbers.

This year a total of 4113 votes were cast, marking a staggering 471 percent (yes, that’s right) increase from 2014, when only 720 votes were cast. 

Judging from the sharp decline between 2011 and 2012 however, it would be premature to call this year’s election a revival in Murdoch student politics.

It is important to note that 4113 votes does not mean 4113 people voted. A total of 505 votes were cast for Guild President, which gives a good estimate of the the number of actual voters. This is still pretty low considering the number of students enrolled at Murdoch University.

Whether or not voter count could have been higher if elections were not postponed to fall during study week remains up for speculation.

[Read more: Guild-splainer: Unofficial Guide to who does what in the Murdoch Student Politics]

With such a small cluster of votes, it is inevitable that some candidates won their seats with less than a breath of air between them and their opponent. Lauren Hodson of the ACTION ticket trumped TMNT’s Coraline De Zilwa by only five votes.

Bianca Talbot, TMNT’s candidate for Sports Officer comes out of this years race with the largest majority of any ballot, garnering 216 votes over Megan Bilney’s 128.

Events Officer Rachael Davidson would have claimed this title, however TMNT’s candidate Daniel Puls was disqualified after polls opened for not being a registered Guild member and it is unclear what the vote division would have been had this not happened. The final count for Events Officer was 208 votes for Rachael Davidson and 55 for Adrian Gallo.

Better than 2014

Apart from the large increase in votes, 2015 also sees the number of vacant positions drop to 13 out of 45 positions compared to 2014’s 20.

The number of candidates elected unopposed also fell 20 percent from last year, but a majority of student politicians are still taking their positions without a fight.

Disability Representative Megan Browne reclaims her seat for the third consecutive year along with Indigenous Representative Ashleigh Lindsay who is on her second term.

Positions that remain vacant include:

  • Murdoch University Post Graduate Association President
  • MUPSA Vice President
  • Rural, Regional and Interstate Representative
  • Mandurah Student Association President
  • Rockingham Student Association President
  • Academic Council: Regional Student
  • School Board: Arts

Any student interested in these positions may approach the Guild.

See who won the Guild Elections here. Check out Roland Belford’s Google Chart of the elections here.

Cowabunga! TMNT takes majority of Guild Council

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By Madura McCormack

The Murdoch Now Team, headed by Guy McDonald, has emerged as the overall winners of the 2015 Murdoch student elections.

This year marks the largest voter turnout since 2011, with 4113 votes across 15 ballots.

The new Guild Executive, which will take office from 1 December, will be headed by Guy McDonald as President and Andy Hunter as General Secretary.

“We ran with a positive policy platform for making university life here more engaging, fun and vibrant and I look forward to working to continue the great work of previous Presidents like Raeesah Khan and Roland Belford,” says McDonald, paying homage to his predecessors.

“Between our two active campaigns we’ve more than quadrupled the number of votes cast in the student elections. I think that’s a huge win in and of itself.”

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Guild President Guy McDonald. Source: Supplied

Brodie Skalko, from ACTION, will be the new Education Vice President. She won the position by 30 votes to oust Dean Wicken.

“She bucked the trend and won an executive spot despite her ticket not taking out the election majority. She is obviously hugely deserving and I look forward to working with her on council next year,” says Wicken, who will join council as External Representative.

Skalko says she is ‘gutted’ that Troy Treeby from ACTION has not been elected, calling him an ‘inspirational influence on council’ this year.

“I endeavour next year to fulfil my personal promise, which was also a priority of TMNT; to reboot Education Council,” she says.

Other elected members of the ACTION ticket are Sustainability Officer Lauren Hodson and Events Officer Rachel Davidson.

TMNT’s candidate for Events Officer was disqualified when polls opened because he is not a registered member of the Guild.

“Congratulations to the incoming council, regardless of the political differences I would hope that everyone can work together to do the right thing by students,” says Troy Treeby, who has been elected together with Guy McDonald as student representatives on Senate.

Out of the 9 ballots contested for Guild Council, 6 have been filled by TMNT candidates.

Independent presidential candidate Ferhan Siddiqi retains his president of the Murdoch International Student Association.

The positions of MUPSA, Mandurah Student Association and Rockingham Student Association President remain vacant.

“Thanks to the students of Murdoch for putting up with us campaigning this last week. Big thanks to those who engaged with us and voted. Bigger thanks still to those who are voted even though they’re about to leave Murdoch- people voting entirely for others than themselves was actually quite touching,” says McDonald.

Position Elected Ticket Stupol Experience
Guild President Guy McDonald TMNT 2012: Sustainability Officer

2015: General Secretary

Education VP Brodie Skalko Action 2015: Clubs Officer
General Secretary Andy Hunter TMNT 2015: President of Murdoch Student Law Society
Murdoch Post Grad Student Association [MUPSA] President Vacant    
MUPSA VP Undergrad Samuel Edge (unopposed) Independent
MUPSA VP Postgrad Vacant    
MISA President Ferhan Siddiqi (unopposed) Independent 2015: MISA President
Clubs Officer Darian Whyte TMNT  
Events Officer Rachel Davidson Action  
Social Justice Officer Carmel Hooshmand TMNT  
Sports Officer Bianca Talbot TMNT 2015: Women’s Representative
Sustainability Officer Lauren Hodson Action  
External Representative Dean Wicken TMNT  
Disability Representative Megan Browne

(unopposed)

  2014 & 2015: Disability Representative
Queer Representative Jacintha Kenny

(unopposed)

Action  
Indigenous Representative Ashleigh Lindsay

(unopposed)

  2015: Indigenous Representative
Women’s Representative Claire Brodie

(unopposed)

TMNT  
Rural Remote and Interstate Rep Vacant    

Guild Elections: Everyone just chill the f#ck out

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by Madura McCormack

Student election season has gone into hyperdrive, with voting now open and the stupollies going hard and fast on Bush Court.

I’d first like to acknowledge that METIOR remains impartial, especially in the wake of contributor and outgoing EVP Roland Belford’s endorsement of the ACTION ticket. Roland recently analysed both TMNT’s and ACTION’s policies. He ran under the ACTION ticket in 2014 and the analysis must be read with that bias in mind.

Tensions have escalated since Monday October 2 when a formal complaint was lodged by ACTION against the TMNT ticket for an alleged breach of election rules. That friendly political animosity/ atmosphere seems to be on the verge of breaking out into some kind of political faction stabbing session. Which is why I say,

lemur-meme-generator-everybody-just-calm-down-1c5a00

Now, let’s talk about this election thing and what’s been going on in simple english.

There are two frontrunning tickets, ACTION and TMNT because lets be honest, the independent candidates don’t appear to have enough support or ground presence to be elected into office.

The ACTION team, lead by Troy Treeby is openly a left-leaning party. They can do this because Murdoch University is traditionally leftist, and the student body generally accepts this political idealogy.

ACTION Logo. Source: Facebook

ACTION Logo. Source: Facebook

Troy is a member of the WA Greens, and has supported Senator Scott Ludlam on his campaign trail. Also a member of the Murdoch University Sustainability Team and organizer of World Student Environment Network [WSEN] 2015, Troy is as green as they come. His autobiography will be titled ’50 Shades of Kale’.

His running partner Gavin Scolaro [General Secretary], is affiliated with the Socialist Alliance, a registered political party that “advocates for a democratic society run by and for working people, not the greedy, destructive capitalist elite that now rules”, according to its website. Scolaro refers to his external pol party as the ‘friendly socialists’, because the other guys, Socialist Alternative are considered slightly… unhinged.

METIOR understands no one else in the ACTION ticket is part of a political party.

Over at The Murdoch Now Team, Guild president candidate Guy McDonald noted during yesterday’s presidential debate that he is a registered member of the WA Greens. Guy, who seems more comfortable working behind the scenes, can be seen here and here with the Greens.

TMNT Logo. Source: Facebook

TMNT Logo. Source: Facebook

Now to what has been making the online Murdoch community lose its collective shit and initiated the unsavoury mud-slinging that’s going on.

It has become apparent that the ‘Liberal’ brand at Murdoch University is highly toxic. Any mention of the word is met with dirty looks, a frenzied dash for rotten tomatoes and pitchforks.

The Murdoch Now Team has been copping flak for having at least two candidates who are affiliated with the WA Young Liberals. They are Dean Wicken, running for EVP and Darian Whyte, running for Clubs Officer. The general consensus online is that TMNT is a Liberal ticket running under the camouflage of a Green president.

Guy McDonald considers his ticket ‘centrist’. Dean Wicken has come out to defend the ticket, calling TMNT ‘diverse’ and was shutdown about half a second later.

Admittedly, the TMNT Guild Executive is a boys club, something the Guild hasn’t seen in recent memory. In a female majority university where the Guild was helmed by a woman in 2012, 2013 and 2015, this has come back to bite the ticket.

But the bigger question here is, has debate been stiffled at Murdoch because of its long leftist tradition?

This appears to be so, judging from the exchanges happening online and the (arguable) reluctance of Dean and Darian to openly admit that they are members of the WA Young Liberals.

For a previous article on the Women’s Collective fiasco, I sat down to speak with former Women’s rep Bianca Talbot and current candidate for Sports Officer with TMNT. She noted that there is no room for debate at Murdoch, and while she is welcome to her views being challenged, there is no constructive opportunity to do this. Whether this is true is itself up for debate.

I urge all Guild candidates and voters to remember that we are all people and to act in an honourable fashion. Throwing knives at each other is a lot less productive than mature discussion.

Voting remains open until midnight on Thursday, and I implore all students to read ACTION‘s and TMNT‘s policy and vote for whichever candidate you believe will best represent your needs. Thankfully it already looks like the voter turnout will surpass the weak showing of 2014.

Guild Elections: Action Policy Analysis

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Disclaimer: Roland ran under the ACTION ticket in 2014.

Here we go for round two of policy analysis, rules are the same as before, judging policy on how realist they are in my experience with student politics at Murdoch.

I am familiar with most of the Action candidates, I met their executive team of Troy, Brodie and Gavin in 2014 as Guild President as they were all active students in various clubs and Troy and Brodie ran for election as part of the same ticket with me last year. I met Lauren this year volunteering for WSEN, which she co-ordinated and have met Claudia and Rachel who have been very active getting Student for Refugees off the ground this year. Also David, their School Board nominee contacted The Guild this year to begin the petition about services at the library.

I would’ve liked to have written this earlier but Action took awhile to get their policy out there. Maybe something worth considering when you vote. I did find a flyer though today, so I’ll type the dot points in here and give my appraisal. The flyer has greater detail so if I talk about something not inferred in the bullet point, I’m referring to detail provided in their flyer.

Engagement

  • Get involved week
  • Kick start Education Council
  • Supporting Clubs and Societies
  • Encouraging student led initiatives

Get involved week is the showpiece here, seems to involve week long activities and promotions to engage with new students. Sounds promising. Sounds like a  lot of work but it’s just a bunch of forms for Room Bookings to deal with.

Kick starting Education Council is also something promised by TMNT. Action claim it hasn’t operated in 4 years but the truth is it’s probably been defunct for much longer. Education Council has a better chance of getting up next year no matter who wins though because there is finally a substantial number of students running for school board positions which is encouraging to see.

It was interesting that supporting clubs to obtain external commercial sponsorship came from the more leftwing of the two tickets. I really expected TMNT, with its card carrying Liberals, to come up with that idea but they’re pushing their voucher system instead. Anyway, bringing external sponsors on board would greatly assist a lot of clubs, finding appropriate sponsors is the hard bit. For example MESS (Murdoch Engineering Student Society) probably have a lot more opportunities to make industry links than say the Quidditch team. With some focus though, Action should be able to deliver this idea and it won’t require re-write of Guild procedures.

Encouraging student led initiatives sounds promising and inclusive. A cynic might say that such a statement could read as “we have no ideas” but I’ll take Action at face value and assume they will be open and helpful to students who want to start exciting things on campus. There are caveats though, a big one being that often students don’t have any good ideas. For example a student approached us this year about holding a 4th of July party for American Independence. This is a bad idea because the vast majority of American students are exchange students and only here during semester. They also came to us with their idea on the 2nd of July. That said, The Guild sometimes receives great ideas and I believe that truly engaging activities happen because they have groundswell and drive from the student body. That requires a self motivated and engaged campus atmosphere and that is the harder task.

Standing up for student rights

  • No cuts, no fees, no corporate universities
  • Cross subsidy of research and teaching

The first point is almost redundant now with deregulation off the agenda but it is nice to see a ticket come out and state their position on federal education policy. The second point is more interesting. It’s an open secret that almost all universities in Australia supplement their research budgets with the tuition fees of students. Convincing the university to open its books and show exactly how they redistribute money is a very big task. I think the students at ANU made some progress to this, but it’s a very big task and I doubt Murdoch will be comfortable with this. It may be as straightforward as the Senate and Academic Council asking which documents they can release to the public but even that doesn’t show the whole story.

Accountability

  • Truth
  • Transparency

Not much to say, Actions accountability policies are simple and achievable. No need to redraft Statute 17.

Sustainability

  • Divestment
  • Support Sustainability

Divestment from fossil fuels is an interesting issue. Right now the Guild holds no shares but we do deal with plenty of companies that could be seen as evil. Where do you draw the line? Is having a bank account with a bank that has in the past helped finance mining operations too evil to deal with? Action might say it is. The Guild has changed banks twice in the past two years though so it’s not difficult, it will keep the Finance Manager distracted for a few weeks though. As for making the university divest, see my above comments on cross subsidy of fees and university transparency. I spent a year on Senate and I’m not actually sure if Murdoch has any shares, fossils fuel or otherwise. Again ANU announced a partial divestment last year but I suspect all of Murdoch’s money is tied up in the St Ive’s retirement village.

Social Justice

  • Assist student activism and awareness clubs on campus
  • Collective rights

Much like TMNT, many of Action’s policies lack the procedural detail that outline exactly how they take shape. “Supporting the student activist clubs on campus” could look like funding the Free Syrian Army or it could look like getting the Students for Refugees in the same room as Oaktree and FossilFreeMurdoch. I expect Action will do the latter, which is fine.

Better Study Facilities

  • Library and IT Services

The Action team includes two students, Brodie and David, who were heavily involved in petitioning the Library this year. Their policy statement seems to outline that they will continue to engage with the university on these issues and that’s good because I do know the university is slowly working on them.

In my opinion, Actions policies are more firmly grounded in reality than TMNT’s, although Dean Wicken might prefer the language “less ambitious”. I thought Action might’ve bragged more about Troy and Lauren organising an international sustainability conference on campus this year, but like their policy they seem more down to Earth. A few areas could probably do with greater detail and clarity. The lack of event ideas is also a notable omission but I can almost predict their replies will be along the lines of fostering and promoting club led events.

There you have it. If there is demand, I’ll try to scape together some thoughts on the independent candidates. The comments are open.

No quendas running for 2016 Guild Council

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By Madura McCormack

Murdoch student election nominations are in, with two official tickets and what is slated to be a three-way fight for Guild President.

After running mostly unopposed in the last election, the ‘Action’ ticket is back for another political season, this time with outgoing Sustainability officer Troy Treeby at the helm.

‘Action’ faces some actual competition this year, in the form of the ‘TMNT’ or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ‘The Murdoch Now Team’ ticket, fronted by outgoing General Secretary Guy McDonald.

There appears to be a few students running independently, with current MISA [Murdoch International Student Assoc] President Ferhan Siddiqi taking a stab at the Guild President role and relative unknown Adrian Gallo running for four different positions.

This election season will see 38 per cent of positions being filled unopposed, a massive swing from 2014, where 73 per cent of student leaders ran without a fight.

Unfortunately, there are no quendas or other marsupials running in this year’s election, a blow to the critters that are actually on campus.

The 'Action' Team. Source: Supplied

The ‘Action’ Team. Source: Supplied

The main promises

The ‘Action’ ticket includes outgoing Clubs Officer Brodie Skalko as EVP hopeful, with the team looking to re-launch ‘Education Council’ which has been inactive for four years.

Running alongside Guy McDonald will be Andy Hunter for General Secretary and Dean Wicken for EVP.

The ‘TMNT’ ticket intends to install a ‘Guild Treasurer’, who will be in-charge of publishing the yearly budget. There is also talk by TMNT to bring puppies and kittens on campus for Stamp Out Stress Day.

Guy McDonald from TMNT. Photo by: Madura McCormack

Guy McDonald from TMNT. Photo by: Madura McCormack

Both tickets are promising to extend library hours during exam time.

In other positive news, there are actual people running for the School Boards seats, with 9 out of 16 positions having at least one candidate. This is up from the 4 positions filled in 2014.

Check out the full broadsheets here and stay tuned to METIOR for election updates.

Voting opens October 5 and closes October 8.

 

 

 

 

Guildsplainer: The un-official guide to who does what in Murdoch Student Politics.

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There’s less than a week to go until nominations close and #MUpol kicks into high gear. Which means campaigning and sledging and all that fun politics stuff. Onions anyone?

Unlike our brethren in UWA, Curtin and everyone else who actually rank in some chart somewhere, Murdoch tends to not give a shit. Last year, 73 per cent of student representatives were elected unopposed. That is a Distinction for the unit of zero fucks given.

But what is stopping Murkids from being MurPollies and running for office? Probably because no one knows it’s bloody happening and what the positions entail.

So here’s a breakdown of who does what, and where they stand in the hierarchy of things.

The Big 4

There are four major divisions in the Murdoch StuPol [Student Politics] world; Academic Council, Senate, Guild Council and the Murdoch Uni Post Graduate Student Association [MUPSA].

In total there are 46 positions that need to be filled this year [including student reps on School Boards], and like a game of chess, certain people will wield more power than others.

One kickass Venn diagram explaining the MUpol universe, made by MS Word whiz kid Madura McCormack

One kickass Venn diagram explaining the MUpol universe, made by MS Word whiz kid Madura McCormack

Senate

“If the University were a company, the Senate would be its board,” says Returning Officer, Trudi McGlade.

Basically the Senate is the Big Boss, the Supreme Overlord of decision-making that takes advice from Academic Council.

Two students are elected to this role, and their main task is to make sure shit doesn’t hit the fan when people with power make all encompassing decisions.

When asked what Senate members achieved last year, outgoing Education Vice President and 2014 Senate rep Roland Belford says, “Uhhh… we sacked the VC?”

Damn straight. Senate members are involved in the appointment and performance management of the Vice-Chancellor. Murdoch is currently looking for one after the last guy was reported to the Corruption and Crime Commission.

catvoteAcademic Council

The Senate governs, but the Academic Council is where all the action is. These guys deal with academic matters, which in a University, is basically what makes it function.

Kind of like the butter on Vegemite toast, student representation is spread thick on Academic Council because it’s needed.

Apart from the one undergrad and one regional student that is elected straight into Academic Council, Murkids can get on it by being:

  • Guild President
  • Education Vice President
  • General Secretary
  • MUPSA Pres
  • MUPSA Vice Pres 1
  • MUPSA Vice Pres 2

Which brings us to the next lot in the mob, who juggle the never-ending list of students needs and 50 per cent of the entire SSAF budget. [Note: The Guild has a whole fleet of permanent staffers who deal with those touchy corporate things, Student Politicians don’t actually move money around, they allocate.]

Guild Council

Within Guild Council live its slightly more powerful head-honchos called the Guild Executive.

By and large these positions are the most sought after and are arguably the most visible MurPollies on campus. Fun fact: Federal MP for Melbourne, Adam Bandt was Murdoch Guild President in 1994.

The Guild President, Education Vice President and General Secretary are the only 3 paid positions in the whole Murdoch StuPol universe.

Belford, who was Guild President in 2014, says the pay rate is equivalent to the “people cleaning toilets in Parliament House”.

Student positions in The Guild. Graphics: Made in Inforgram by Madura McCormack

Students who are elected into these positions need not do any units, but that’s not a rule or anything. Basically it’s hard work that takes up a lot of time outside of the maximum hours you can actually get paid for each week.

METIOR understands there is no such thing as a ‘Guild Executive Pension’.

Joining them is a motley crew of student representatives and officers, each with their own portfolio.

There’s the Guild Officers;

  • Social Justice
  • Events
  • Clubs and Societies
  • Sports
  • Sustainability

Together, they form SECSS. But don’t forget the Reps;

  • Queer
  • Disability
  • Indigenous
  • Women’s
  • Rural, Remote and Interstate
  • External

BUT WAIT, there’s more. The Murdoch International Students Association President, currently Ferhan Siddiqi, also sits on Guild Council. As does the MUPSA President we previously met on Academic Council and their not-at-South Street friends Rockingham Student Association President and Mandurah Student Association President.

Due to the dwindling student numbers at Rockingham Campus — student Population: 7– there is talk of removing the position altogether.

How do I nomz- (1)Good lord, are we done?

No. Sit down and be still. There are also 16 positions to be filled on the 8 School Boards.

These are the positions that go unfilled year after year after year. Apart from the School of Law, who actually has its shit together, no one nominates themselves for the 1 undergrad, 1 postgrad position.

School Board Student Representatives, or SchoBoStuReps as they are now called, are the ones responsible for recommending units and courses to be offered within the School and have academic oversight of the units.

They are the ones who can actually do something about the shithouse unit that has three essays with no actual direction and a lecture at 8:30am.

Damn son, I better do something

Hells yeah you should. Nominations close 4pm September 23 and campaigning will begin at 10am the same day.

To nominate yourself, grab the forms online or in person and hand them in with a 400 word bio and a snazzy headshot of your gorgeous face.

If being in a leadership position does not sound enticing at all, remember that voting is still muy bueno.

Source: University Secretary's Office. www.murdoch.edu.au

Source: University Secretary’s Office. http://www.murdoch.edu.au

In order to vote or nominate, you must be a Murdoch University student and cannot be an employee of the University. Anyone going for a spot on Guild Council must be a Guild member.

Congrats you made it to the bottom of the post, go grab a cookie.

Elections postponed due to Student Announcements glitch

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by Madura McCormack

UPDATE: Election season will resume on Wednesday September 9, with nominations lasting for 2 weeks until September 23.

__________________________________________________________

Murdoch student elections have been postponed due to a glitch within the Student Announcement Systems.

The Returning Officer is expected to release a statement tomorrow, September 8, detailing when nominations will open again.

Murdoch Student Announcements, which are sent every Tuesday via email, has allegedly been down for almost a month due to a glitch within the Office 365 script.

METIOR understands that while the system did not go down entirely, a majority of students have likely not received a Student Announcements email since the start of semester.

Education Vice President Roland Belford suspected there was a problem last week and the Academic Registrars office has since confirmed this with him.

Under election regulations, students must be notified by email or post that nominations are open. This glitch has forced the entire process to be moved back and the new dates will be released soon.

METIOR is currently seeking comment from the Academic Registrar regarding the email kerfuffle. This story will be updated as new information becomes available.

Majority elected without a fight at last election

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Almost three quarters of Murdoch University’s student politicians were elected unopposed last year, while the total vote count dwindled to just 720, according to data provided by the Returning Officer.

2d53ae38df6f5cadde3533c5c0aed466 (1)

19 out of 26 filled positions went uncontested in 2014, the highest since 2011. This includes all 5 Guild Council Officers; Clubs Officer Brodie Skalko, Events Officer Alyssa Chow, Social Justice Officer Rhys Marjoram, Sports Officer Daniel McLerie and Sustainability Officer Troy Treeby.

METIOR understands that while Guild Council Representatives and the MISA [Murdoch International Student Association] position also went uncontested, their respective collectives normally hold closed-door elections and have been chosen by the group they represent before reaching the polls.

Vote count at four-year low

The total number of votes for 2014 was just 720, an 85% drop from the count of the hotly contested 2011 elections where Bec Thompson won the Guild Presidency.

It is important to note that this does not mean 720 students voted in 2014, as one student may vote in more than one ballot. For example, a student could have voted in the Guild President, Education Vice President and General Secretary ballots, amassing 3 total votes.

“A student could be eligible to vote across all ballots, or someone could only want to vote for Guild President. We have no idea,” Returning Officer at the University Registrar’s Office Trudi McGlade says.

According to her, actual voter turnout remains confidential and is hard to identify because of the nature of the online voting system.

“It’s all anonymous… it’s all calculated in the background of the system,” McGlade says.

Empty spots

After the elections process, 20 of the 46 available positions remained vacant in 2014, a pattern similar to previous years.

Murdoch University restructuring in 2012 slimmed down the number of slots from 65 to 32, and this has stabilised to 46. There are 25 spots within the Guild and 21 in the University Committees.

From the data, spots on University Committees are most likely to remain vacant, especially within school boards. Students who sit on school boards have influence over the unit and course structure of their respective school among other responsibilities.

Except in 2012 when the position was not available, the undergraduate representative for the School of Law board has been contested and filled.

Student election nominations open today, August 31, and will close in 2 weeks on September 14.