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 Union President debate was possibly the most highly anticipated of the evening. Social media interaction and audience participation was particularly prominent for this debate as the two Falk Egg candidates, Adam Sellers and Ed Reckless, put forward their views. Rob Whittake current President was on stage to ask questions.
Adam Sellers’ 30 seconds proved that he has been a Sports Sec and Hall Chair in Falk Egg. He strongly believes he has the ability to lead the next Exec team and can build good relationships with people.
The 30 second speech from Ed Reckless talked about his experience as Falk Egg Rag Rep and Hall Chair, of which he won Hall Chair of the year. He is in his 4th year in Loughborough and wants to continue his work in the Union and in Halls.
Adam: I’ll allow people do their job and provide back up when needed as support. I want to keep the Exec team bonded and work in a non- authoritarian style.
Ed: As evident through my achievements, I am approachable and I like to work alongside people. I am a good teamleader and member, and I believe the sections need to work well together to put across campaigns. I think I’ve had more experience and involvement having been here for four years.
Axelle: You’re both quite controversial characters- how do we know you will take this role seriously?
Ed: I believe I am the best candidate for the role- I have many experiences and achievements. I led Falk Egg to sing off final and we became a fantastic hall. I have the characteristics to be the man for the job.
Adam: Having been Hall chair for Falk Egg, I have found that I can represent students. I want to be the megaphone for those students. I’ve represented Falk Egg and could represent the whole student population.
Sarah Haar: What do you feel your role will be representing Loughborough In London, the College and Loughborough Uni- how will you adapt the role?
Adam: You’ll be the face of everyone. I expect and am prepared to be up and down on the train. I won’t be stuck in Loughborough, I’ll support Loughborough in London too.
Ed: Loughborough in London and Loughborough are important connections and the student experience needs to be copied to Loughborough in London. we need good communication to progress and create pathways to integrate everyone- creating one students’ union for both Universities.
Twitter question: How will you maintain strong relationships between the uni and union?
Ed: We already have a good relationship- they work well together. There are some grey areas relating to providing a student experience. This relies on using uni facilities- there are grey areas with regulations, wardens and campus living.
Adam: The uni and union need each other equally. The Union is a selling point for the uni and we both understand each other.
George Hones: In this role you’ll have to attend a lot of national events- how will you not lose touch of students?
Adam: We could have a student suggestions section on the website as well as sharing things such as League tables so that people know what’s going on.
Ed: It’s difficult to balance. The roles of the Exec team filters through to president. We need to make sure the president is accessible when available. Ensuring that everyone is accessible is important and we can listen to what Exec get in terms of feedback.
Audience q: are the rumours true- did you hit a girl?
Audience q: How will you raise your profile on campus- get to know all students?
Adam: On open days we can be available for prospective students. It is important to be there- not just a face. Be present at sports fixtures and during the day.
Ed: Support all sections daily. I want to make the union and the Exec more accessible. Get Exec to popular parts of campus where students can congregate- we need to make sure that people know who their Exec are.
George Hones: What would you like to do to improve relationships with locals?
Ed: Students get bad publicity in the local community. Students can be noisy and it’s up to us be respectful. We can increase positive publicity of students through their work in Welfare and Action- things that give back to the community and uplift student image.
Adam: There’s lots happening around Falk Egg with the locals. We need to go to community meetings and tell people the kinds of Rag and Action events that we do- this is the kind of stuff that gets missed. I would go to resident meetings to set them straight.
Sarah Haar: How will you make sure that people on the Exec team are being held accountable?
Adam: Training days are important. I’d like it if Exec members could shadow other members for a certain amount of time so everyone knows what each other is doing.
Ed: Union affairs committee and forums are a good way for students to hold Exec accountable to find out what they’re doing. Exec are set targets and we need to make sure they’re met on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis. If they’re not meeting targets then we would see that people were not on top of workloads.
Twitter question: This year breathalysers were brought in. What serious act or campiagn would you implement and why?
Ed: I’d like to introduce a network between employers in town with students and the Union to help to begin applications for work.
Adam: We could have a “What we want” for student suggestions. We’ll comment on what we’re doing to make the suggestions actually happen.
Axelle: Drugs can be an issue at certain events, during freshers and in Halls?
Ed: Drugs can be an issue- and I know it’s on the rise. The issue can be tackled through a campaign about awareness- similar to alcoholism. We could utilise better decisions to tackle alcohol and drugs.
Adam: Welfare! It’s not about finding the individuals- we need to know why people are doing it in the first place. Drop in sessions could work to chat confidentially- we need to work with the students and not dish out fines.
Twitter question: What makes you better (for the role) than the other candidate?
Ed: I have a lot of experience having been in Loughborough for four years. I have experience in Falk Egg and in town. I have been a Rag rep, Hall chair, on HSF as Vice President and I’m an engineering student. I believe that this is an underrepresented side of the campus. I have skills in leadership, I am personable, approachable and believe I have the characteristics that make me a suitable candidate.
Adam: I know the technical side of the role being Hall Chair. I’m approachable and good at building relationships. I believe that this is more important than specific experience for President. The Union President meets new people every day, something that I’m good at and this is important.
The Union President Candidates answered a variety of questions and considered the Loughborough in London campus as well. The debate was probably the most intense of all- and arguably should have been considering that the role is probably the biggest in the election. Both candidates were well presented and appear to have ideas to share. The audience are now left to consider all of the possible voting options- the debate provided real food for thought…