Former JSoc president to lead LSE student union

By Marcus Dysch, March 14, 2013

A former Jewish Society president has been elected to run the London School of Economics’ Students’ Union.

Jay Stoll won the battle to be the next general secretary of LSE SU following an election race which featured apparently antisemitic remarks made against him.

In recent years the union has been beset by antisemitic and anti-Israel activity, with a Jewish student suffering a broken nose during a Nazi-themed game on a union ski trip, a threat to slap a former vice-president of the Board of Deputies during a debate, and an Israel Apartheid Week event last year which featured fake security checkpoints and guns.

Mr Stoll, from Whitefield, Manchester, won by more than 550 votes after a huge turnout of 3,000 students voted.

He said: “The students’ union in the last few years has been very reactive rather than proactive in dealing with incidents. There’s a vacuum where people think they can get away with things. That’s not going to happen next year.

“The team that has been elected is more diverse than in the past. We are the product of good work that has been going on between societies.”

Mr Stoll praised his campaign team of more than 40 people and said that their efforts had propelled him to victory.

“Jewish students should feel that being elected to their union is about embracing university life. This is a massive success for me and to be able to make a difference in your community is a rare chance,” said the 21-year-old.

A formal complaint has been made to the school and the union following the comments made by one of Mr Stoll’s fellow candidates.

Izmir Bajrami told student newspaper The Beaver that Mr Stoll had been working towards the top role for a long time and was “pulling the Jew card”.

“If I was Jewish I would be offended,” Mr Bajrami said.

LSE JSoc president Olivia Jacobs lodged the complaint and said: “The statements made by Izmir are highly offensive. The suggestion that being Jewish allows some form of overt or covert control over the democratic process is blatant age-old antisemitism. ”

● At Birmingham Guild of Students, Georgia Levine was elected as anti-racism and anti-fascism officer. The Manchester-born student will take up the non-sabbatical role at the start of the 2013-14 academic year.

Last updated: 3:45pm, March 14 2013