Oxford University is in shock after a student who had been dismissed as a "joke candidate" was elected president of its student union.
In what is being hailed as a “landslide victory” - at least by the university's usually apathetic standards - by the student press, Louis Trup beat his nearest rival by over 700 votes.
The results, which were announced last night, came as a shock to many – not least to Trup, who was heard shouting “what the f*** just happened?” when the news was broadcast in a crowded college bar. He won 1,685 first preference votes, whereas his nearest rival, expected winner Jane Cahill, who came second, received 975.
Trup, who used the slogan #LJTrup4ousu4change, ran an unusual campaign. He wrote his manifesto, or “personifesto", in crayon, for instance. On it, he cited reasons why students should vote for him, including the fact that he reads Geography and often wears flip-flops. His policies included procuring double beds for all, world peace, and a monorail to St Hugh’s and Lady Margaret Hall, which are the two Oxford colleges most distant from the town centre.
Trup made numerous videos during his campaign, in one of which he was dragged around the iconic Radcliffe Square while wearing a Union flag, flip-flops and a bobbly hat. He also claimed that his campaign had been inspired by an aerobics video.
However, his campaign took on a more serious turn in an article for the Oxford Student. In it he slammed the “insular” culture of Oxford's student union (OUSU), and alleged that the elections are “undemocratic”.
OUSU is often voted one of the worst student unions in the country. This summer’s National Student Survey gave OUSU a student satisfaction rating of just 36 per cent, which put it firmly at the bottom of the table.