Glass understands that Aaron Bui has been provisionally elected as the Guild’s next President after the only other candidate, Phearun Kuch, withdrew his nomination this afternoon.
Bui is the current Postgraduate Officer at the Guild, having filled a casual vacancy earlier this year.
Bui’s election into the Presidency unopposed means he has never been elected by the student body directly, outside of his selection to fill a casual vacancy by members of the SRC. This is the first time a Guild President has been elected unopposed since the notorious EPIC election of 2018.
Student participation in Guild Elections does seem to be marginally improving, with 10 SRC positions being contested this year, compared to only 2 SRC positions being contested last year. It looks to be another year largely without students having a chance to give their SRC a mandate, however, almost all Executive (paid) positions have now been filled by default due to a lack of nominations.
Bui sat down this week for an interview with Glass, which you can expect to read soon.
Bui is running on a ticket made up of many current Guild SRC members – “Reform” which is campaign managed by current President, Aamna Asif.
Reform’s election promises to students have not yet been announced, but Glass understands they may focus on “reforming” the structure of the Guild, as well as initiatives to increase student involvement in the Guild and campus culture. Many current Guild SRC members, including Bui, have expressed dissatisfaction this year with the organisation’s Board of Directors and voted at a Council meeting to support the Board’s abolition. Abolition of the Board would mean constitutional change for the Guild, which could take years to effect and would need the approval of the Board itself.
Kuch told Glass on Saturday afternoon that he is withdrawing from the race due to conflicts with his work and study schedule. “I am withdrawing my nomination for the 2023 Annual QUT Guild Elections due to conflicts with my work schedule, a demanding academic journey, and other commitments.”
Kuch expressed regret about having to withdraw and noted that he will finish his course in mid-2024 anyway. “I’m concerned that my advanced research studies and mid-year graduation will complicate my ability to fulfil my responsibilities within the Guild.”
“At this juncture, I find myself extremely occupied and have underestimated the demands and time commitment associated with the election process.”
Students elected in this year’s Guild elections will serve in their roles until 30 November 2024.
Glass has reached out to Bui for comment, who has said he is waiting for the news to be confirmed by the Returning Officer.
The Returning Officer is yet to confirm Bui’s election via the Guild Noticeboard.