Label got a chance to sit down with Max “Smile” Crawford, once Cayley Hall Chair, and now hoping to become VP Union Affairs, in order to find out more about his experience and why he has chosen to run for this role.
Why are you running for this position?
Ultimately because it’s something that I would love to do, it’s something that I would enjoy and I think the experiences that I have had over the last three years in various different roles around the union have given me skills and knowledge that is really relevant to this position. But what I feel strongly about the most, is that my Loughborough experience has been incredible and so amazing, but I’m well aware that for many people they don’t have that same experience within the union and I think that this role will really allow me to understand why not and hopefully change people’s opinions.
What makes you more suited than other candidates?
I think as I said, I have been involved in a really wide range of things in the Uni. Specifically to this role though, I was Cayley hall chair and something that I tried to do as hall chair was to make sure as many people were getting involved as possible, and that the activities we were putting on suited a wide rang of people, and if people weren’t happy we would find out why not, and I think I understand the nitty-gritty constitutional side of things. I‘ve been a union council member and a member of the union affairs committee and I think more than anything, currently being HSF President, which stands for Hall Students Federation. HSF is where we represent every student living in or affiliated to halls and I think within this role I’ve had to find out what students aren’t happy with and what they would like to change and how they would like to move forward, and I already know how a lot of students are feeling and I know the ways in which to work with the Uni and to go about changing this, so, I’ve got a little bit of a head-start.
Tell us about your campaign theme?
My campaign theme is quite an easy one, I’m ‘Max “Smile” Crawford’ so my theme is a big smiley face, and I think it’s a theme that gets everyone involved and something that everyone will want to be a part of, and it shows that smiling and being happy is something that I want to take into the role.
What would you say is the most important aspect of your manifesto?
I think all the parts of my manifesto are important, but the part that is most important to me is making sure that everyone is represented. I think Liam (current VP Union Affairs) has done an excellent job at communicating to all the students and me, and this is something that I feel strongly about-we need there to be a strong communication from students to the Exec. From speaking to a lot of students I’ve seen that not many know how and where and who they go to in order to give feedback about different aspects of University life, and I want to create questionnaires and focus groups, and visit halls and people from town in order to make sure people can have the chance to say what they like and what they don’t like, and then we can work out how to move forward. Interlinked with this, and the research that I would collect and the data that the university already has, then I would be able to find out why people aren’t getting involved, and I think it’s very important that we understand why, and try and cater for everyone and come up with new ways to make everyone happy.
In one sentence, why should people vote for you?
I am incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about the role and I am completely committed to doing the best I can and moving the union forward.
What are you most looking forward to about campaigning?
I’m a people person and love meeting new people and having conversations with new people and just reaching out to as many people as I can. So I’m looking forward to that aspect and telling and interacting with them about the ideas that I have on a personable level.
What are you least looking forward to?
There are always going to be certain parts where you think you could have done more, and I guess there will be people to who will say that they think I could have done more, but hopefully I shall have all bases covered.
What do you think will be the most challenging part about campaigning?
There is always going to be more that I want to do and although ten days is a long time, I know it will go really quickly, so I just want to cover as many bases as I can and do as much as possible.
What have you spent your budget on?
Budget so far has been spent on my costume, which my Mum helped me make. It involved a lot of sewing. Money has also gone on little touches such as sweets and stamps. There are also a few more things that my budget has gone on, but I don’t want to give it all away just yet, and save some surprises.
What will you focus on most during campaigning?
As I said, I really like meeting people and getting to know them on a personal level, so door knocking is something that I’m really looking forward to. I know a lot of people will think that it will be a lot of effort, which it will be, but I just really want to meet as many people as possible and get as many people involved in my campaign as I can.
What do you like about the way the role has been carried out this year?
I think Liam has really changed it, as before it was seen as a role that was very difficult in terms of having to make changes but Liam has made is so much more about communication and has done a brilliant job, and has come up with innovative way to get students attention and to get them involved.
What new ideas will you bring to this role?
Communication from the students is something I want to implement. In my manifesto something that I think is very important which hasn’t happened so far, and I know they have tried to work at it in the past, is the transparency of the Exec and their relevance to the students. I go around and talk to too many students who don’t know who the exec are, let alone what they do, and what I would like to do is to change how the exec are seen, and how they are presented and make them relevant-be that through initial profiles when freshers arrive, letting students know who they are, what they do and how they can get in touch with them and the expected progression that students should be able to see in exec ideas throughout the year.
What three characteristics do you have that make you well suited to this role?
I’m an all-rounder and therefore really involved, I’m very resilient and if things get difficult I’m always determined to drive on and get results, and lastly I’m a happy person, so am very approachable and can work well with others.
Can you tell us something that not many people may know about you?
I’m 5’7 ½” which is actually average height, and that’s something not many people know, but I’m quite an open person so most people will know all that there is to know about me.
This interview was conducted by Louise Burt, Label Editor and Matt Bourne, Label Assistant Editor.
To find out more about Max’s manifesto click here.