Exec Elections 2013: Campaigning On Campus

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Elections are back once again! However, this year numerous changes will come into play.  Executive Elections 2013 promises to be an extremely different experience than years gone by, for both the candidates and the students of Loughborough University!

Ali Cole, VP Democracy and Communications, along with the rest of the Exec, has introduced a few key changes to the regulations of how this year’s election will be run: The first, and most talked-about change, is that of the new £100 budget cap. Secondly, the alteration to the rules regarding stating intent to run for Exec, and finally, the introduction of Media week to the campaigning schedule.

So as you can tell, the changes are bound to alter the style and forms of campaigning during the 2013 Exec Elections, so Label Online predicted some ideas and campaign tactics you should expect to see being used around campus over the coming month, and maybe inspire you to run, this year or otherwise:

‘Free Campaigning’

With the introduction of a budget-cap, free, creative campaigning tactics will be the main focus for many candidates: expect to see flash mobs and spontaneous dance crews across campus, musical numbers and campaign-theme-related demonstrations. These tactics have been used in the past, with former Union President Rebecca Bridger’s campus conga line, Anie Davis’ mobile fight scene against Lord Voldemort, and many more. Creativity will be key this year, and it makes this not one not to be missed!

Lecture Shout Outs and Door Knocking

For those of you who have not witnessed an Exec Election before, be prepared to have one or two of your lectures interrupted and knocks on your door from an eccentric Exec candidate, brightly clad and high on Loughborough spirit! Shout-outs are allowed during campaigning, with the lecturer’s discretion, and are a great way to connect with students in a variety of departments. With around 6200 students in Halls this year, our candidates will have their work cut out with the aim to reach every single student!

Careful Spending

In years gone by, a handful of candidates has leaned into four-figure sums for their campaign spending total, throwing sweets around like confetti, outlandish costumes, and banners the size of small cars! Candidates will have to budget effectively, putting their money to good use and with good timing, as a costume alone could cost nearly if not all, of their £100 budget. Sweets will be given out scarcely, probably closer to or during the voting period, and the Union’s poster allowance given to each candidate could be the total of their printing needs. Don’t expect to be filling your pockets with candy on the way to lectures this year, as our candidates will be aiming to avoid any imposing sanctions!

Hustings

With just one hustings during the coming elections, split over two evenings (February 19th and 20th), candidates will have to impress using their manifesto points to put them in the limelight. Insightful counter-arguments, meticulous practice for speeches and maintaining composure throughout the live show on LSUTV will be vital, as votes can be won and lost early in a campaign if hustings is taken lightly…

Campaign Teams

Elections have gone down to a third round of voting in the past, which was seen in the battle for Societies President last year, but the backing campaign teams are almost always the deciding factor. Teams work tirelessly in support of their candidate, charging around with posters, sweets, and a positive attitude throughout the campaign week. Former Welfare Development Officer Sam Hampson told Label: "A small, reliable campaign team won my election for me, sharing the workload and allowing me to take care of the things that only the candidate could do. Low budget efforts like mine can often outperform larger ones purely because of the dedication and support of a relatively small number of people, and I count myself very lucky to have had such helpful friends."

Manifesto Points

Although the usual argument questioning whether someone could beat a BNOC (big name on campus) onto Exec still continues, the focus will shift away from high-financed campaigns and onto the manifesto points of the candidates. Candidates will push their ideas for improving the student experience at Loughborough via posters, shout outs, and at Hustings, showing you why they are the perfect candidates for the role. Media Week will also be an important time to state the importance of any key manifesto points, as this will be the first opportunity to show the student population your potential for filling the role. The dispute about ‘oh the wrong person got the job, they just spent loads’ will subside, and be replaced by who can make the most of their manifesto, as well as their money. 

Candidates will have to show their true colours over the next month, distancing themselves from their competition through inspired, realistic manifesto points, meticulously planned spending and a well-oiled team behind them. Who will win? Who will run? We’ll wait and see in the 2013 Executive Elections…

Any thoughts on the new changes imposed for the 2013 candidates? Anything that could be further improved? Comment below or find us on Twitter @labelonline and keep your eye out for all our Exec Elections content coming soon.

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