Meet Kingston’s first female SU president

Who’s that girl? The River meets with new president of the Students’ Union, Denza Gonsalves, to find out a little more about her.

Gemma Coleman and Ollie Gillman

The first female SU President in 12 years has been elected, with Denza Gonsalves taking nearly half the vote.

Twice as many students voted this year, the biggest turn-out in seven years, a stark comparison to 2012’s election where barely 700 people bothered to vote.

Increase in voters

The future SU leader was also proud of her achievement of winning the election by 10 per cent, with a huge increase in the number of students choosing to vote.

As a member of the SU’s executive committee, she was aware of the level of apathy shown towards student politics. Only 700 out of 20,000 students voted in the 2012 elections.

However, this year was a different story. Ms Gonsalves said: “The turnout this year has been absolutely amazing, by a 10 per cent majority I was voted in and I am so proud to say that I was democratically elected as your next President.”

Ms Gonsalves will take over from current President Sean Kelly in July.

“I lost all my appetite”

It was a tough campaign otherwise for Ms Gonsalves, with the constant 15-hour days proving a shock to the system.

She said: “Campaigning was a lot of work, I was absolutely exhausted by the end. It started at 9am Monday morning and go on until midnight. Then 9am the next morning, and the next morning, and it went on for days on end. It was so exhausting that by the end I was hardly eating, I lost all my appetite. But it was worth it.”

It was all worth it though, she says, especially as she has a number of plans in the pipeline.

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