On 24rd February 2015, Room One heated up as the second of the Exec Election Bubble Debates took place. The evening was once again hosted by Nina Blissett on stage and Dave Thompson in the crowd, talking to the panel and sharing social media interactions. Nina brought us an introduction to the evening, saying that “we want candidates to clash” and that this would be the “hardest job interview of their lives”. We were also introduced to the panel; Sarah Haar- Ex- VP Action, Axelle Savary- Butler Court Hall Chair, George Hones- former Rigg Rut Hall Chair and Hamza Modi- involved in Action,Welfare and chair of Bakewell Hall. For anyone who was there, I’m sure you’ll agree that the evening was a lot more intense than the first debate as the panel asked intrusive questions alongside audience and social media participation.
The three candidates running for VP Rag presented us with some similar ideas as well as some contrasting thoughts and approaches. Danni Hitchens, current VP Rag, took to the stage to question the candidates.
The 30 second speech from Rachael Lynch showed that worked with charities, she raised £21,000 alone and wants to increase overall student engagement and recognition.
Andy Tribe’s 30 seconds proved that he has been heavily involved in Rag since the start, has been on Rag committee, a trek team leader and has helped set up all events.
30 seconds from Robyn Varley shows her love for the section as well as her knowledge and experience of Rag. She says she has four main points which include an open door policy, awards through raids, improvement of organisation and increased involvement from all sections of the Union.
Danni: Should we support smaller or bigger charities?
Rachael: I’d like to work with more local associations as well as linking up with Welfare to promote small charities more. Big charities will always come back to Loughborough.
Andy: We can cover both and isn’t a problem at all. Smaller charities work well at the start of the year. Big events do help as many people as possible- we have no limits.
Robyn: We can support big and small. It can be difficult with the bigger ones because we need them more than they need us but it is good to work with them. It is also good to work with smaller charities as we can target the things that people have close to their hearts. It’s a nice feeling to contribute to the smaller charities too.
Sarah Haar: Loughborough Rag always needs to be the forefront of innovation- how will you maintain this?
Andy: A Zombie run- we’re looking at it and how American Universities run it and the possibility of Halloween opportunities.
Robyn: I’d work on a smaller scale- a stationary bike ride or rock climbing could help promote external events, doing the events internally to promote things like the London to Paris bike ride.
Rachael: The Zombie run is something that I also mention. We could also do a sleep out for homeless charities and work with Action on this.
Axelle: Rag handles a lot of money- should there be more transparency with where the money goes?
Robyn: There should be- I believe in this quite heavily as it is important to know how much of peoples’ money is going to charities- people can go above and beyond set targets.
Rachael: It’s a good way to show what we’re doing and raising. We have a graph to show where and when things went out to which charities. If we didn’t support some of the staff with the fundraised money then we wouldn’t be able to put on the events that we have.
Andy: We do need to put money back into Rag in order to raise more- but yes there can be more transparency.
Rachael: We are working more to help with fundraising and charities in terms of fundraising student support. We can’t let it rely solely on team leaders. Things learnt early in the year can help teams instantly.
Andy: I want to massively increase training in order to help participants with events.
Robyn: Increased training is important. I want to look at how team leaders are chosen- the off coming Rag chair doesn’t have that much input which I think this is important as they will know more than the oncoming committee.
Hamza: Anything you would have done differently this year?
Andy: Organisation- events like the colour dash and the lock in are not organised early enough. We need to get the committee together a week in advance to improve efficiency to benefit everyone.
Robyn: Organisation- we need media through sooner to advertise early. We can share minutes from meetings and have an upcoming calendar of events on Facebook so that everyone knows what is going on.
Rachael: People do a lot of work already and it isn’t always given recognition.
Tweet form Sophie Farley: What’s more important- raising money or the experience the fundraisers have?
Robyn: Both are important and student enjoyment is more important- but raising more money provides a better experience- the two do compliment each other- enjoyment helps to continue participation for further years.
Rachael: Implement the ways we work with the college more- to continue their experience. We could have a Rag month which would give people more time to put on events and fundraise more.
Andy: Student experience is priority as enjoyment is more likely to bring people back- I enjoyed my first Rag raid and so I continued.
Danni: Does all money belong on the total- inc flights and accommodation?
Rachael: It is money we have raised- but it doesn’t technically count to that specific total. We could make two totals and increase transparency.
Robyn: different places work their totals differently. It would be difficult to take off the money that doesn’t go to the charities now because it could damage our reputation by taking it off.
George Hones: Some charities are owed thousands of pounds. How will you ensure that all of the promised money is raised?
Andy: If you’re not within the targets, team leaders can help push through- if you don’t raise the money you shouldn’t go on the trip.
Robyn: Events earlier in the year make it harder to raise by the time-they are sometimes allowed to go on 60-70% of their target to cover costs and not detriment charities- but they do need to raise the money when they get back.
Rachael: Some people are still fundraising and I stay in contact with the charity. I was the only team leader for DARE and I have kept my communication with the charity up.
All three candidates responded well, with some repetition among the three, but some slightly differing ideas too. They all appear to be confident in their ideas and campaigns and know what they want to say.