By MATILDA BOSELEY and SIMON KUPERMAN
Together has officially ended Go!’s 12-year control of the MSA.
With a 50 per cent increase in total votes cast compared to last election, Together has been swept into office by the students on Clayton campus.
Vote counting will continue tomorrow, but Together have officially won the positions of president, secretary, treasurer, women’s officer, education and academic affairs officers and environment and social justice officers.
Michael Fisher won the presidential ticket by more than 1000 votes, with 64.9 per cent of the vote, a huge margin for a new group facing an incumbent power.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be elected with the overwhelming support of the campus,” he said.
Together’s policy platform was very similar to Go!’s, looking to address sexual assault on campus, open a headspace clinic on campus and improve student amenities by pushing for better wifi and longer library hours.
However, the group differentiated itself with its focus on club involvement. The group was made as a coalition of clubs and societies, the majority from the Law Students' Society. Several dozen clubs and groups endorsed Together.
“Our visions for a bigger community, and a new way of doing politics, has clearly resonated with the campus,” he said.
Voter turnout increased substantially this year with almost 4000 votes cast – close to 11 per cent of the campus population, compared to 7.3 per cent in 2016 and 6.5 per cent in 2015.
Grassroots have also emerged victorious from this election, with one of the new social justice officers and both education public affairs officers being Grassroots members.
Grassroots representative Rhyss Wyllie said the group was very pleased with the result.
“We're happy Go! has been tossed out, but now the real work begins to push for Left-wing values and competency in the union,” he said.
Some of the Together candidates I've spoken to have been really passionate and excited about transforming the MSA so we're sure we made the right decision.”
Next year will be the first time that Grassroots has held major positions in the MSA since 2015, part of an ill-fated alliance with Go!
Go! candidates for queer officers, Harry Kennewell and Denise Atzinger, were elected unopposed.
THE VOTES SO FARPresident Michael Fisher (Together): 2264Shreeya Luthra (Go!) : 1213Kim Alford (Independent): 139Informal: 248Total: 3864SecretaryCaitlin Mcivor (Together): 2374Eleanor Scott (Go!): 1215Informal: 275Total: 3864TreasurerGrace Rodrigues (Together): 2212Sasha Brady (Go!): 1210Bryadon Thomas-Collins (The Monash Right): 167Informal: 275Total: 3864Women’s officerEmilia Dalton and Alisha Rao (Together): 1058Austin Erumanathara and Claudia Stapleton (Go!) : 689Informal: 18Total: 1765**(Only people who identify as female can vote for women’s officer)Environment and social justice officersJessica Evans and Ayushi Panjwani (Together/Grassroots): 2300Mitchell Both and Jasmine Duff (Go!/Left Action): 1147Richmond Graham and Bettina Prescott (Monash Right): 138Informal: 279Total: 3864Education and academic affairsLexi Kowal and Astan Ure (Together): 2306Gellie Cano and Alex Niehof (Go!): 1232Informal: 266Total: 3864 Education Public Affairs Officers David Power and Jake Humphreys (Together/Grassroots): 2270Patrick Callanan and Benjamin Caddaye (Go!): 1240Informal: 354Total: 3864 Welfare OfficersOliver Robertson and Megan McNeel (Together): 2377Eve Ward and Austin Luke Erumanathara (Go!): 1203Informal: 284Total: 3864
Votes will continue to be counted over the weekend. Follow Mojo on Twitter to follow the results as they are announced. We’ll update this article once all the results are announced.