There was a nail-biting finish to the race to become the next President of the Union of Jewish Students this week, with only six votes separating the top two contenders.
LSE student Josh Seitler beat Joel Salmon of St Andrews by the narrowest of margins, with 474 votes to 468, after a record number of votes were cast.
Salmon, who says he “has heard all the fish puns,” was graceful in defeat, tweeting: “Gutted to have lost, but I feel so positive that our union and community is in the strongest place that it has ever been.”
Manchester City fan Seitler, 21, is in his third year studying social policy and criminology, and said: “I used to be quite a shy person, but UJS taught me the ability to go up to random people to campaign for something I believe in.”
During his campaign, he promised to “reorganise UJS response to students on campus… UJS should speak not just for the few fortunate students but for every student”.
News of the win was the talk of the UJS annual conference, where Jewish students also pledged to campaign heavily for mental health awareness, only months after Jewish MP Luciana Berger became Shadow Minister for Mental Health.
Berger, a former National Executive Committee member of the National Union of Students (NUS), was previously involved with UJS, and the organisation had high hopes this week that she may lend some high-profile support.
Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan and Business Secretary Sajid Javid gave speeches, with Khan saying: “British Muslims and British Jews actually have more in common than almost any other communities”.
He added: “As mayor, I’ll make tackling hate crimes, including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, a far higher priority for the Metropolitan police.”