With 519 votes from the 936 ballots cast in UJS’ single transferable vote election system, Hannah Rose has decisively won the election to become the next UJS President.
Thrilled and humbled by her victory, Hannah paid tribute to her opponents, saying:
‘Running a national election campaign isn’t easy, and I’d like to pay tribute to the work that Lawrence and Annie have done. They’ve both brought in new voices and experiences, and I hope that UJS can take forwards the lessons of this diverse campaign.’
‘I’ve been clear throughout my campaign that I believe in UJS and the power of Jewish students, and I’m honoured to be elected to lead and represent them. My campaign wasn’t about me or my politics, and my Presidency won’t be either; it’ll be about all 8,500 Jewish students and what we can achieve when we are united. I know that there are challenges ahead, but I look forward to representing our vibrant, democratic and diverse Union to the best of my ability.’
Hannah’s manifesto pledges included strengthening UJS’ work on liberation, empowering students with marginalised identities; revising financial support for smaller J-Socs, to ensure their festival and Shabbat celebrations are not cost-prohibitive; commissioning an internal review and a taskforce to strengthen denominational inclusivity; and expanding UJS’ successful Reclaim mental health campaign from a week-long operation into a year-round effort. Having completed a year abroad in Spain and Argentina during her degree, Hannah also pledged to connect pre- and post-study abroad students to connect Jewish students to communities and opportunities in their destinations, and to expand UJS’ outreach to international students coming to the UK.
Watch the announcement and Hannah's winning speech here:
This election, as well as yesterday's Conference which went ahead despite the snow, with Jewish students braving the elements to be present and shape their union, generated widespread interest across the community. Once again, our members have shown themselves to be thoughtfully engaged in pressing matters Jewishly, as part of wider campus communities and as part of society more broadly.
Reflecting on this, current President Josh Holt said:
‘Congratulations to Hannah on her election! I have no doubt that she will lead UJS into its 100th year with passion, dedication and a significant vision for the future of our union.
‘I would also like to congratulate all three candidates, their teams and the wider Jewish student population on conducting themselves maturely and respectfully throughout this election, engaging with ideas that challenge their own. Our Jewish student leadership and communities can contain views and ideas that stretch well beyond the majority, which is reflected in the strength of the debates we heard today at UJS Conference; indeed, majority mandates shape our policies and our work on campuses, but they are not parameters for inclusivity or discussions within J-Socs and UJS. Jewish students continue to be unified, not uniform, and our diversity remains our strength.’
With six months remaining of the academic year, Josh has ample time to continue empowering Jewish students to be loud and proud about their Jewish identities before passing the Presidency to Hannah. He and the team are also keen to begin enacting some of the important policy passed at UJS Conference, including working with universities and students' unions to ensure observant students' needs are accommodated surrounding timetabling, exams and deadlines; combatting online harassment; raising awareness of Jewish genetic diseases; and campaigning to reopen the Dubs amendment.
Hannah will take up the role of UJS President in June 2018.