These elections will go down in collective memory and in my own mind as perhaps the most disappointing of those I have been a part of.
Despite having a lower budget cap to give candidates less money to waste on an insane number of consumables, the same faces still remain on the Exec Elections website. Or similar faces at least.
Two candidates are re-running for the Executive, the person running for President is a hall chair and polls show (excluding perhaps Rag and Action) all candidates being backed by a hall are on course to win.
It’s the same people, or same types of people throwing their hat into the ring for the Executive and there have been a plethora of comments as to why this is.
Perhaps that The Epinal has published the names of candidates who’re standing early, thus scaring off all interested students early. Students don’t see the point in wasting their precious money, time and energy on a job they may not win.
I’ve ended up eating my own words that the £100 budget cap will encourage more candidates. It hasn’t. Not this time at least and removing it would destroy everything Ali Cole and Union Council have worked to achieve – to allow students who don’t have a large amount of money to spend on a campaign to take a chance.
And yet, I firmly believe that it is not this publications fault.
In fact Loughborough University is categorised and characterised by the fact it is not political. This apolitical void has been filled historically by the strength and organisation of university halls and general disinterest outside them. They’re one of the only institutions at Loughborough University capable of mustering even the slightest democratic interest from students.
An inherent problem exists in that The Students’ Union is not seen as the place to build up your CV and so long as that perspective remains, we will continue to see unopposed Executive positions on our ballot papers. We will continue to see the same faces pass us by each year.
The Students’ Union ultimately remains remote in people’s minds and so long as that endures, these elections and the prospect of running in them will seem just as remote.