Female AU President: Where Are You?

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At first glance, it is easy to say that Loughborough has not had a female AU president for the last ten years because it is an altogether sexist institution.

This was certainly the response of my housemate who would go to any length, to beat any man, in any way possible; and she is not alone. Loughborough was labelled a sexist university after our student union invited the FHM High Street Honeys and Nuts Magazines Brat Pack on campus during their UK tour.

So clearly there is a sense of male domination in Loughborough, which can be explained by the fact that men outnumber women at the university by about 61:39, when the national average is 51:49 across other universities.

However, to say that Loughborough is a sexist university would be to ignore the number of female students, which has increased by 36.8% in the last few years, as well as the fact that roughly equal numbers of both men and women play in AU teams and have collectively given Loughborough a sporting reputation to be proud of. So the ladies are making an impact. Which is evident in the fact that the position of Union President has been filled by a female for a few years now, with Ellie ‘iBelieve’ Read currently making her mark.

Obviously women are not shying away from Executive roles in the university. So why is it then, that the last female AU president in Loughborough was Radha Balani in 2002/3 a whole ten years ago?

Lewis Timms, our current AU president, commented that during elections for a new AU president, students vote for the candidate they believe has the better campaign and would be best at the job. So the pattern of male AU presidents for the past ten years where Ewan Paterson had the edge over Gabi Ireland in 2010, and Adam Rae over Jasmine Scott in 2011, is down to the quality of their campaign and the individual rather than their gender.

So there has not been a female AU president for so many years, not because Loughborough is a sexist university, but because the men’s campaigns have had that extra something leading them to victory. So the next female candidate for AU president quite simply needs to pull out all the stops to win over voters. With this years elections fast approaching, could 2013 be the year to break the spell of male AU presidents? Watch this space…

What are your opinions on the matter? Is it due to male candidacy, or do you think the idea of 'BNOCs can't be beaten' is still a major factor? Maybe appearence plays a part in student votes? Comment below or find us on Twitter @labelonline, and don't forget to like the 2013 Executive Elections Facebook page.

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