Label had a chat with James Bowker in order to learn more about his ideas, find out his passion for the role and what sets him apart.
Why are you running for this position?
I’m running for this position because I am extremely passionate about the union and the university, and I want to give something back, so I think in the roles that I have had so far in the union I think that I have the necessary experience and I hope that people will see that I really want to take the union forward.
What makes you more suited to this role than other candidates?
I was Cayley hall chair for a year, which gave me lot of exposure to different committees and got to work with teams in order to really get the best out of people. I’m also a member of the board of trustees here so I’ve got a lot of exposure to a lot of things that go in the union, especially in regards to finance, and what it will actually take. I have learnt a lot from this position and it has given me so many ideas that I really want to take forward and hope to implement next year.
Can you tell us about your campaign theme?
My campaign theme is ‘James and The Giant Peach’, so it’s a spin on my name and something that will be recognisable around campus as I’m going to be dressed as a giant peach, and I’ve got a slogan that fits with the story, as in James and the Giant Peach they go to New York, so I want to take Loughborough to New Heights, and although there isn’t a link to the VP Position I hope its something that people will recognise and enjoy, and I do think it’s important that people enjoy it. I have an inflatable pumpkin suit that has got a peach sheet over it and it’s huge, and I will be walking around in it around campus and on nights out.
What is the most important aspect of your manifesto?
I’ve got five P.E.A.C.H points and my main point is going to have a complete rudimentary guide to freshers. There is a lot of confusion when it comes to freshers about hall subs, social packs, fresher subs, platinum and platinum extra, and I want to make a whole guide the explains what each hall has on offer and what the different nuances are, and I basically want to scrap the whole platinum and platinum extra thing and just have one platinum package, which we can market, as there is to much confusion between the two, so if we just have one we can focus on marketing the one really, really well, and make sure people know what it is and what in entails and what offers are available.
In one sentence why should people vote for you?
I would hope that the passion and drive that I have as Cayley hall chair as well as being on the board of trustees and other union things, people will see that I have a real passion for the union and want to move it forward, and as a person I really want to make it clear that I am here for everyone as my Loughborough experience has been incredible but I know that that is not the same for everyone, so I want to try and replicate that for everyone as see how we can cater for different needs-we’re not just a nightclub at the end of the day, the union has personal and care developing opportunities and through student voice, Rag and action, and through finance I can cross platform a lot of these roles together in order to make sure we can bring different people into the union for different nights.
What are you most looking forward to about campaigning?
Meeting as many people as I can. I love meeting new people. When I was Cayley hall chair I made sure on the first day I stood at the main door so that I could meet everyone as they came in. So I want to meet as many different people as I can, hear their ideas. I think one of my strengths, as a person, would be getting a lot of idea together and trying to put ideas forward. I’m looking forward to just getting out there, and going out and not being able to drink will be lovely. On Saturday I’m going to start a peach train in Cayley, and see how many people join, and see if we can end up in town.
What are you least looking forward to?
If it rains. I’ve said in my head that I will personally knock on every single door on campus, even if someone isn’t there, I just want to try and talk to everyone. I know it will be long hours, but I think that it will replicate what it will be like during freshers if I was to get the position. It will be the most rewarding thing.
What do you think will be the most challenging thing?
I think the last few days will be the most challenging, but I’m looking forward to it, and I want to nail every single day like it’s the first day.
What have you spent your budget on so far?
My budget is going on more printing, some peach flavoured sweets for everyone to enjoy. It’s not part of the budget but I’ve got a lot of wooden palettes that are going to go round every hall and common are which are going to be spray painted with logos on, saying StayPeachy, which can then be used as drinking tables, and people will always see my name. I’ve got a stamp that says ‘Vote James’ StayPeachy.
What was it that made you want to run for this position?
I think what made me run was because I love making a difference. My role as Cayley hall chair, when I was stood in front of 280 people at the start of freshers, and I just thought it was amazing, and it just made me really passionate about wanting to move the union forward, and not looking at what we do badly, but what we do well, and how we can keep improving what we have. I take a Business degree and want to start my own business, so understanding how an organisation works would be great exposure.
What do you like about the way the role has been carried out this year?
I’ve shadowed Dan a couple of times this year, and what I like about the role is that it can take you down different routes, so you can have a fifty percent split between finance and commercial services. I think Dan’s taken more of a finance approach, and if you look at Zak from the yer before he probably took more of a commercial side, so I like how it can be approached differently. I would actually focus on finance closely after freshers but then I would want to expand on the more commercial side of things.
Can you tell us something that not many people would know about you?
I’m quite an open person, so I don’t have many secrets. I did a presentation when I was 18 and had left school in front of Seb Coe and the rest of the Olympic committee regarding Olympic values are carrying them on through secondary schools after the Olympics, so that was one of my proudest achievements and I actually got feedback from his as well which was a bonus.
What three characteristics do you have that make you well suited for this role?
Two of the biggest ones are that I am passionate and that I am very, very confident in my ability and I am diligent.
This interview was conducted by Louise Burt, Label Editor and Matt Bourne, Label Assistant Editor.
To find out more about James’ manifesto, click here.