After an intense two weeks of campaigning, YOUR Union Executive for 2013-14 has finally been announced in front a packed Room 1 audience last night!
Label has been busy covering every minute for you at home to make sure you got the most out of this year's elections. But now we can sit back, relax and reflect on the best and worst features of this year's candidates.
Creating a different, noticeable campaign theme is a significantly important part of running successfully. Voters need to be able to remember you out of all the other contesting candidates, and every year there will be campaign themes that stand head and shoulders above the rest, with this year’s being no exception.
The best campaign theme, in my opinion, was Paul Nanson’s: The reason why Nanson’s campaign theme is one of the best is that it draws on a globally successful song and dance that everyone knows. For this reason people are likely to remember it easily and engage more with his campaign. Other favourites of mine were Helen Crossley’s, because of the creative aspects that she worked into her campaign, and Josh Hurrell’s because of his catchy slogan Josh ‘Do It’.
The worst campaign theme for me, hands down, was of course Chris McKenna’s. However, another campaign that I thought was particularly mediocre was that of Maz Haider. Last year also saw the use of the superhero costume and I think it’s high time that candidates realised that this kind of theme is, simply put, unoriginal and boring! It also has one of the worst success rates for winning an Exec Elections; food for thought perhaps…
The Bubble Debate
Both of The Bubble Debate specials contained many of this year’s highlights. In terms of the best displays at the debate, it would only be fair to say that almost all of the candidates stood their ground and answered the questions that were thrown at them with great energy and accepted etiquette.
However, there were a few, shall we say humorous as well as awkward incidents on both nights. One incident came in the form of Rag Chair candidate Mike Lyness openly stating that “sometimes his [Max Turner’s] people relationship skills aren’t great,” which even lead to Jago Pearson openly refuting Lyness’ comment at the very end of the debate; insulting the Exec member of the position you’re running for isn’t the best of moves.
Another example, that I’m sure many have heard about, was of course the ‘lucky charm’ that came in the form of a tin of carrots, which VP Finance candidate Chris McKenna brought on to the debate floor. Although, it is a blatant hoax and mockery, I’d have to say that it was definitely one of the best highlights of this year and it brought a brief touch of humour to the debate.
Most candidates made great use of social media, with several creating hash tags for Twitter and utilising the audience potential that Facebook offers. I was also particularly impressed with Izzy Ford and Zak Evans’ websites that they set up; it was something that not every candidate used and I think that it gave them an edge over their contesting candidates.
Michael Jordan is another candidate who made brilliant use of social media: His three second video featuring British track sprinter Dwain Chambers has received over 80 likes and was shared over 24 times on Facebook, now that’s what I call a good use of social media! Another favourite of mine has definitely got to be Paul Nanson’s ‘Ragnam’ head pictures, which allowed those supporting Nanson to place their own face in the head hole and use it as a profile picture; simple but ingenious.
Free Campaigning Ideas
With candidates being restricted by the budget cap, this was the year for free campaigning. Sarah Haar resourcefully took advantage of the recent Valentines Day and grabbed a massive heart cut out from Tesco’s unwanted stock. Now that’s good thinking!
Jennie Cooper with her discounted therapy zone vouchers will have gone down well with those heavily involved in sports or the AU, and Izzy Ford also received high praise for her use of the Drink Aware unit-calorie counters and plastic glasses that she was handing out.
As part of candidates’ ideas for free campaigning, flash mobs and campus-wide demos became endemic by the end of campaign week. For me, the best example came from Michael ‘Action Air’ Jordan, combining a campaign-related street dance with one of the best ‘Harlem Shakes’ I have seen around Loughborough thus far, and even got a dozen other candidates involved. Credit also must go to Jennie Cooper for her ‘Call On Me’ flash mob, and Zak ‘Sparrow’ Evans for his campaign parade.
From what I can recall, there hasn’t been a stand-out winner for the worst public demo, although there were a few slip ups… Sarah Haar may want to have a listen to her song choice next time, after her street dance backing music contained many an expletive in the lyrics.
As can be expected with the budget cap this year, there were far fewer sweets around. However, many candidates did choose to spend part of their budget on sweets. Now, before I go any further there isn’t really any such thing as a bad sweet, so I’ll focus on the best. Both Sarah Haar and Helen Crossley got my vote on this one!
Haar tied her choice of sweet into her campaign theme and gave out little Haribo jelly hearts, which I thought helped to highlight her campaign theme further. Crossley’s sweets were also a massive hit, with several people saying that her pixie sticks reminded them of their childhood.
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