Three Catz students elected to the Students’ Union

Three Catz students have been elected to Oxford University Student Union (OUSU).

Aleena Waseem, a third-year History student, will be Vice President: Charities and Community. Bethan Adams, a second-year Geography student, and Dhitee Goel, a first-year Biochemist, have both been elected as Student Trustees.

St Catherine’s College also won the ‘College Leader board’, boasting the highest number of votes cast by any Oxford college.

Aleena’s victory, to one of the Union’s full-time sabbatical officer positions, was particularly strong: she took more than one-third of all votes cast in the first round (1,183 out of 3,226), almost double the next candidate’s total. The Single Transferable Vote (STV) system in place then reapportioned eliminated candidates’ votes to their next-preferred candidate, with Aleena remaining on top during each round.

On her victory, Aleena said: ‘I feel so excited and so overwhelmed to be elected as VP Charities and Community. Having the support of students not just from Catz but across the University means so much and has made me determined to do the best possible job!

‘I’m excited to get started on my policies, which include creating a central University homelessness crisis action plan, working with local and sustainable businesses, providing support for students who require vacation accommodation for welfare reasons, and increasing sustainability awareness in colleges.’

Pictured: Aleena, Bethan and Dhitee

Bethan and Dhitee both also received more votes than any other candidate in the first round. After votes were reapportioned, they were elected alongside one other Oxford student.

‘I am so excited to start my role as a Student Trustee,’ commented Bethan, ‘and really hope that I can bring some of my experience and ideas to the SU. I am sure I will learn a lot in the process.

‘Catz has a great presence in the SU and I am very proud and lucky to be working alongside Dhitee and Aleena for the upcoming year. Thank you so much to everyone who voted!’

Dhitee added: ‘As one of the youngest candidates standing in the Oxford SU Leadership elections this year, I am extremely pleased to be elected, honoured by the trust you have placed in me, and so grateful for the immense support I have received from all students.

‘As I accept the role of Student Trustee, I pledge to fully dedicate myself to the financial sustainability, strategic success, and legal compliance of your Student Union.’


Record-breaking turnout

The elections took place over three days during fourth week (9-11 February 2021), and saw a total of 36,405 votes cast by 4,881 electors – breaking the record for an OUSU election. With Covid-19 restrictions in place across the world, the elections were also run entirely online.

Master of St Catherine’s College, Professor Kersti Börjars, congratulated all three on their victories: ‘I’m so proud that three Catz students were successful in elections to the Students’ Union this year. Aleena’s was a standout victory to become Vice President: Charities and Community, and she follows in the footsteps of fellow Catz student Ben Farmer, the incumbent in that role. Bethan and Dhitee also had clear majorities and I know they will serve well as Student Trustees.

‘I was also happy to see that Catz had the highest turnout among all colleges, among a record turnout. Congratulations from all at Catz to Aleena, Bethan and Dhitee on your well-deserved victories.’

Bethan and Dhitee take up their positions next month, serving until March 2022, while Aleena’s one-year term begins in June 2021.

You can find the full results of the elections on the OUSU website, including breakdowns of the vote counts for each position.