The moment VP Democracy and Communications announced the start of campaign week at the Live Reveal last Sunday, madness hit the Loughborough campus. The week was started with the infamous poster dash, which saw groups of supporters for each candidate running around campus strategically targeting the best positions for their candidate’s posters.
Each day since then has seen the future Union Exec hopefuls undertaking all manner of ways to get their face best known. Door knocking has seemed to be the most popular form of achieving this, with each candidate making their way around each hall in order to speak to as many candidates as possible. Some candidates have tailored their campaigning; AU Presidential candidates Steffan Lloyd and Martha Riggs have attended the training sessions of several AU clubs, and Societies Federation Presidential candidates Chris Briggs and Sophie Farley have made their way around a few societies to make their voices heard.
When it comes to social media, it is fair to say each and every candidate has established a very widespread social media presence, each with campaign Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, Facebook groups that are updated multiple times a day, to ensure every Loughborough student is aware of their goings on.
Label have been out and about on campus talking to the candidates to see how their campaign process has been going.
Steffan Lloyd told Label he has received some great feedback with regard to his manifesto, particularly regarding his point about increasing spectatorship on campus. In terms of how his campaign process has been going so far, Lloyd told Label; “I think the feedback I got on Sunday, coming down to the piazza was huge, that was really a confidence boost to me because I was sceptical before the week started because you hear people saying ‘oh yeah, you will be good Stef’, but I just needed to see that, because coming down from that piazza stage was just a huge relief”
Label also caught up with second AU Presidential candidate Martha Riggs, who is feeling positive about the process so far and has received a lot of positive feedback. Regarding her manifesto Riggs told Label; “I think that by widening the pool of athletes we have through diversity and recruitment, that is the only way to find and develop these people. There’s very few athletes that arrive ‘Loughborough Stars’, so it’s so important to develop them from the very beginning, as soon as they arrive, so I want to get them in the AU to start with.”
VP Democracy and Communications candidate Liam Peoples, despite the unlucky choice of costume for this cold weather (lyrcas and tights), told us that he has enjoyed talking to everyone so far. With regard to his plan of action for the week, Peoples told Label; “I’ll be trying to reach as many people as possible, aiming to do every single hall. Obviously running for a role based on democracy and communication, there is no better way to reach the people than actually face-to-face”
With Peoples, was Dan Thomas, VP Finance and Commercial Services candidate, who told Label he was looking forward to the next few days of campaigning, and launching his “What Would You Change” campaign, which links to his manifesto point of revamping Stupid Tuesday. “I’ve said all along that student ideas are at the forefront of what I’d like to do, so tonight is the first night where I find out what students who attend the night would like to see in place there.
In terms of the Presidential candidates, Label caught up with Rob Whittaker and asked him what kind of feedback he has been receiving from students so far, Whittaker told Label; “I think it’s nice to hear people’s ideas for a start, part of my campaign is ‘Taking Loughborough to the Next Level’ and asking what the students want. On the campaign I think they are enjoying that I am trying to personalise my campaign for different AU clubs and different halls, so I think they are appreciating that. “
Tommy Allen has also been ensuring that his presence both on and off campus remains visible, condcting a flash mob in James France as well as posting numerous videos across social media that have certainly received a good reception amongst Loughborough students. When asked for a quote about how his week has been going, in true Allen style, he simply replied “Buzzin”.
Head of Media candidate Bryn Wilkes has also been making his way around campus, covering Royce, John Phillips, Faraday and Cayley on Monday alone. Wilkes told Label; “'Campaigning has been great fun, people really seem to be responding well to theme! I knew going out and meeting students would be an eye-opener, and I've certainly learned a lot.'”
A sea of yellow has also been making its way around campus in the form of Head of Media candidate Tom Traies, who has made extensive use of his Clock Cam on nights out as a vital part of his campaigning. Traies told Label; “I'm having a fantastic time campaigning and the response and support I've been getting is overwhelming. I feel really lucky that I've had the opportunity to meet so many Loughborough students and I'm looking forward to meeting even more over the next few days.”
Label caught up with third Head of Media candidate Josh Reynolds while he was door knocking Elvyn Richards. Reynolds told label he feels his theme was a good choice, as people are responding to it well due to it being “a classic”. Regarding The Bubble Debate and the other candidates, Reynolds said ““we all want to take LSU Media in different directions, but all communicated our points well”.
VP Welfare and Diversity candidate Natasha White was even spotted attending her Politics lectures and seminars on Tuesday. With regard to the Bubble Debate, White told Label; “I was nervous, I think it went well but it is so hard to tell. I think the most difficult part is trying to get the right message across, which is hard in the time we had but hopefully people understand why am running and how much I am committed to the position”.
Zoe Mumba, candidate for VP Welfare and Diversity has been carrying her rainbow all over campus, covering Cayley, Bill Mo and Towers on Monday alone, and on Tuesday she delighted us with rainbow cupcakes. Mumba told Label; “It's been going really well; I have received a lot of positive feedback regarding my manifesto and my campaign team have been absolutely incredible promoting me! I am exhausted but having the time of my life!”
After an excellent performance at the Bubble Debate, George Bollands has also been enjoying a busy week of door knocking and lecture shout outs, even at his own lecture which he then attended. Bollands told Label; "Over the last few days campaigning has been hectic but really enjoyable meeting loads of new people. Really hope that come next Wednesday, it's will have all been worth it"
Societies Federation Presidential candidate Sophie Farley was spotted performing a couple of jam sessions on campus with her campaign team, she told Label; “We have our signs and our costumes on and we are just wandering around having a jam. We’ve got Tuxedo Swing involved, which is great as well. One of my manifesto points is to have more interaction between the different groups and societies, so yeah, I think this illustrates this perfectly.”
Second Societies Federation Presidential candidate Chris Briggs has spent the last few days door knocking, and spent some of the first full day of campaigning visiting his old hall, Falk-Egg. Briggs told Label; "Campaigning is a really tiring process however I'm loving getting round the Uni and talking to all the lovely people"
Rag Chair candidate Dave Edwards spent the first couple of days door knocking Robert Bakewell, David Collet and Falk Egg, and told Label; “Campaigning has been going well, doorknocking has been very successful with lots of positive feedback and comments about what I want to do, what people like already and what could be improved. Lots of interest in my campaign on nights out as well”
Danni Hitchins has been covering the campus in Despicable madness, with minions running around and despite sustaining an injury to her leg last week, Hitchins is still as enthusiastic as ever; “Campaigning has been going well considering the circumstances, I have really enjoyed meeting so many people and hearing their thoughts on how RAG could be improved. It’s been so great seeing people getting behind the theme and gives me plenty of motivation to keep going”
It’s hard to miss Amy Ward and her stamps around campus and on nights out. Ward has made every effort to ensure students know who she is and why she is running. Ward told Label; “Campaigning has been brilliant, have had fantastic responses to the lecture shout outs that I do every morning and also the dining hall shout outs… meeting people face to face was something I really wanted to achieve throughout the campaign week – the support has been brilliant and I'm having a lot of fun!”
Action Chair candidate Phil Jenkins, a.k.a Phil.I.Am has filled his week sporting a cardboard speaker system around campus and on nights out. Jenkins told Label; “The campaign is going really well, having lots of fun with the team on nights out getting loads of pictures and giving out plenty of sweets. Then working hard door knocking to meet as many people as possible during the day”
Overall it is safe to say every candidate has put their heart and soul into this year’s campaign week. With each adopting different strategies to best get their message across, deciphering who has done so the best is no easy task. This year’s elections will no doubt be a series of close calls, but in just a day’s time your new Union Executive will be chosen. Don’t forget to cast your vote at www.lsu.co.uk/elections.