Sealing the deal: Alex Dwek speaking to students in Manchester
Manchester University student, Alex Dwek, tipped by the JC to win, has been elected the next chairman of the Union of Jewish Students (UJS).
Mr Dwek, 21, heard of his victory last week in Leeds after five days of elections across the UK where almost 600 students turned up to vote.
Mr Dwek, whose campaign slogan was All Hands on Dwek, narrowly missed the 50 per cent of first preference votes needed to win in the first round but went on to receive the highest number of second preference votes, beating the two other contestants, Paloma Sackman from Birmingham University and Adam Parker from Oxford University.
Mr Dwek said: “I felt I had put in a lot of work not just the last six weeks but I’ve been involved in UJS for three years so it was a show in confidence in the work I’ve already done.
“It was a massive relief when I got the result because it was a bit of a marathon going around eight cities in five days. I was so excited to win.”
Mr Dwek said his first priority is to build up relationships with the different Jewish societies around the country.
He said: “Even though I don’t start my position until June, I plan to travel around and meet with all the JSocs. It takes time to build up relationships and it can’t happen overnight.”
He also hopes to encourage more Jewish students to become involved in UJS and JSoc.
He said: “There are so many Jewish students who are strong and proud to be Jewish but aren’t involved in UJS and JSoc and I want them to be.
“I’d like to set up more career and accommodation advice and an interactive Jewish travel guide. It’s a way to get them more involved in Jewish life and a good way of tapping in to students who aren’t reaching us. The UJS website should be every Jewish students’ first port of call. ”
Other plans include starting a process to prepare for the 2012 Olympics so they can welcome Jewish students from around the world to London.
“I’ve got my degree to finish first over the next couple of months but then it’s on to campuses after that,” he added.
Adam Pike, the current UJS chairman, said: “UJS was fortunate to have three strong contestants in a highly contested election and I’m proud to be handing over, in six months time, to a very capable and charismatic leader. I expect that Alex will take UJS forward and build on the progress of the past two years.”