Yesterday it was revealed that David Haines, who is running for VP Democracy and Communications, has suggested he plans on reviewing the wages that the members of Exec receive because he believes that “in order to make it the ultimate grad job it needs to be competitive with other jobs of a similar nature.”
Now, speaking as someone who is a fan of the Exec and the Exec Elections, I don’t support this move because, quite frankly, I don’t believe that the role of exec is the ultimate grad job. The role of Exec is a great stepping stone towards the ultimate grad job, but it’s definitely not the ultimate grad job itself, and this can be shown in one very simple way.
Imagine that the exec wages were boosted up to the even more handsome figure of £20,000 pounds from the current £16,000 (which doesn’t include things such as clothing budgets) and you were offered a position on exec or a job with a reputable company for the same amount, which would you choose?
I imagine most of us would choose the job out in the real world making a name for ourselves rather than sticking around in our university town for another year. The role of Exec allows students to demonstrate they have great leadership and interpersonal skills on top of being somewhat charismatic, but it definitely doesn’t compare to getting a job out in the real world.
The thing is, the role of Exec technically isn’t even a graduate job. The role of sabbatical officer traditionally was aimed at second year students, allowing them to take a year out of their degree to gain some work experience (and money) before returning to their studies and completing their degree.
Finalists running for this position is something that has evolved as many people would rather run when they have spent time networking and building up contacts over three years, and thus have a better chance of winning.
This brings me to my next point, for many candidates getting onto Exec revolves around ensuring you know as many people as possible; this is why we haven’t seen an increase in applications for the Exec team this year, even with the £100 cap on campaigns.
It’s highly unlikely that the majority of the student body will be any more motivated to run for Exec if the wages were increased, because at the end of the day being if not popular, but well known in Loughborough gives you a huge advantage when it comes to running for Exec and this simply doesn’t apply to the majority of the Loughborough population.
Consequently, I think it’s misguided to assume reviewing the Exec wages will encourage more people to run for Exec because at the end of day, many people don’t have the motivation to run for something that you arguably have to be a BNOC for, and also, after three years in Loughborough some people simply want to move on.