Executive Elections are just around the corner and, as cliché as it sounds, deciding whether to run is a big decision. It’s a fantastic opportunity to shape the Loughborough experience, work for a £10 million company and did I mention you earn £16,000 for the year? So it is seriously worth considering if you are a final year student or looking for a placement.
This year Ali Cole (VP Democracy and Communications) has made some drastic changes to the election process making it much fairer and more accessible than in previous years. There is a considerable shift towards making the election more policy focused and less about buying students votes with sweets; a much needed and welcomed change. If you have a great idea on how to improve a section or area of the Union and want to run for Exec; the changes make it a much more level playing field for all candidates.
The Union is now giving candidates a £15 printing allowance so effectively you can run a campaign for “free” with doing the minimum of printing and putting up posters. With the introduction of the £100 budget cap all candidates will all have the same maximum amount to spend on items such as t-shirts, banners and consumables. Thus eliminating candidates spending ridiculous amounts of money, (believe it or not Loughborough has seen candidates in the past spend amounts of up to £1500).
£100 is a worthwhile investment for your career; just think about it as a week-long interview. Additionally a reduced campaigning period of only ten days, which is six days less than previous years, makes it less time consuming and stressful for candidates.
Still not convinced? Let’s move on to winning elections and the question of beating BNOC’s. So it’s a well-known secret that a successful campaign will have a unique concept backed with good poster design and will involve plenty of door knocking and talking to students.
During campaign week – campaign campaign campaign!
Get your name and ideas out there by talking to as many students as you possibly can; get departments, halls, societies and AU clubs behind you – basically any group of students. The worst thing to see when it comes to voting is a candidate on the list you’ve never heard of; give yourself a fair chance.
So the big question, can I beat a BNOC?
Well, the most recent example was in last year’s Development Officer Elections where Rachel Chambers beat Lisa Dover, ex Rigg-Rut Hall Chair for the position of Community Development Officer. I’m not saying that being a Hall Chair isn’t advantageous in a campaign but realistically can you name all 16 hall chairs? The answer is most probably not and the vast majority of students won’t be able to either, so they may be well known in their own hall but they will need to put in the same amount of effort if they want to win a campus wide election.
And it’s not always experience that helps you win a campaign; Georgie Court beat Jack Heskett who was a member of Executive for the position of VP Welfare and Diversity based on an innovative campaign. Furthermore neither AU President candidates were hall chairs but just were involved in the section in some way. In some cases that doesn’t even seem to matter, look at former Societies Federation president Nicholas Painter-Bosworth who was elected despite having virtually no involvement with the section.
My point is that, there is nothing stopping you from running in the upcoming Executive Elections.
In my opinion a successful campaign is: a result of hard work, talking to as many students as possible and a supportive campaign team; not the common misconception of having BNOC status. So if you are interested in running check out the candidates pack which is available and nominate yourself.