Campaign teams have been lighting up Loughborough campus, encouraging students to vote for their exec hopefuls since the live reveal on 22nd February. Once all candidates were presented to the eagerly anticipated crowd, the traditional, mad poster dash took place. This saw the once quiet campus amidst with exhaust fumes as people raced around in their cars to reach the most prominent spots to pin up their candidates posters first.
These candidates and their teams, rush around for an action packed, sleep deprived ten days but there can only be one winner for each respectable role, and the winners will be greeted like campus royalty but simply being in charge doesn’t make their chosen section great, you do. Let me explain.
It is evident that every Exec member of Loughborough University, past and present, have done a great job with their respective sections, continuing to move them forward. After her second year in the role, Isobel Ford has been able to continue to build on the foundations she formed in her first year for Welfare and Diversity. Rob Whittaker was promoted from Hall Chair of Faraday to Union President and has used all of the skills he learnt to develop the Union as a whole. With the greatest respect, the Vice Presidents and Union President are not the full picture, you pay an important role too. A very big part in fact.
Every Exec hopeful speaks gospel of their manifestos and what they will do to improve their respective sections of the Students’ Union and this is all very important when considering who to vote for, however, the students have to put in a degree of work themselves to get the most out of their student experience.
Because I work with the media team, it will be easier to explain what I mean if I represent the herarchial structure we have. The structure is fairly transferrable across other sections:
You have the VP Media at the top of the hierarchy, followed by the senate team, then the committee and finally the volunteers… In reality, everyone underneath the Vice President is a volunteer as no one but the VP are paid for the work they do.
In theory, those that are higher up the hierarchy have more control over what happens in the section but in reality, it is actually the volunteers, (the majority of the students) which do. Without the hard work and dedication of the students, the Union would not be at the standard it is today and would not continue to be in the future. The President and Vice President’s can only do so much, without the commitment and input of the students, the sections will not continue to grow and thrive. As we are at a sporting university, I will use a sports analogy to further explain what I mean: The Vice Presidents and President are the managers of a football team but without the players, (students) working collectively with them, a game can’t be played.
So my advice to everyone is, don’t be downhearted if your favourite does not win this Wednesday, whoever is in their place will, like everyone previously, do a great job. What is important is that you encourage the exec team to continue to innovate, meet and excel the requirements of all the students- remember that you get out what you put in with LSU too.