Leah Schamschurin elected to University Council as the 2021 undergraduate representative
Words by Felix Eldridge
Over the last few weeks, the University held an election to fill the vacant position of undergraduate representative on the Adelaide University Council for 2021. The University Council is the peak decision-making body at this University. It is responsible for the appointment of the Vice Chancellor, creating the University budget and approving important strategic decisions about the University.
In a hotly contested battle involving five candidates, Leah Schamschurin has been elected to the role until the 5th of March 2022.
Leah is a third year student studying a double degree of Arts Advanced and Environmental Policy and Management. She campaigned heavily on a platform of increased transparency, ensuring student voices are heard during any merger discussions and to ensure that the ICAC response to the former Vice Chancellor is handled in a transparent, representative and student focused way.
The other four candidates who contested the election were: Blake Lawrenson, Lachlan Agius, Bronwen Lee and Yoong Aun Lai.
This election saw a significant rise in voter turnout. Almost 500 additional students voted in this election compared to the last election (896 this year v 397 last year). In addition, the election result has been the first since 2017 where more than two candidates received over 100 primary votes and also the first since 2017 when preferences were required to determine the outcome.
The quota for victory was half of the total number of votes plus one (449 votes). Despite achieving the highest primary vote of the candidates (366), the result was only decided after multiple candidate eliminations. Leah won on the fourth count as three other candidates were eliminated, netting 478 votes after preferences.
Felix ran as a ‘Unite’ candidate in the 2020 student elections.