Ed Reckless, or shall we say Ed ‘infamous’, has become a stirring name around campus recently. After having committed violence against a woman on a night out in the Union, his new role of Student Union President has become an extremely controversial subject, even worldwide. A petition has been signed by over 3000 people, even globally, encouraging Reckless to stand down. Anyone can sign, from absolutely anywhere on the planet. Articles have even been released by national news sites, such as The Guardian and Huffington Post. Though Reckless may have taken part in unacceptable behaviour, does this warrant the entire world to judge his future?
Possible impacts upon LSU
If Reckless remained the leader of the Student’s Union, it could compromise the future reputation of LSU. Violence against women is intolerable, and so having Reckless as the university’s biggest student representative could well give Loughborough an increasingly negative reputation. Potential students could be thinking twice about their University choices, as being known for the Best Student’s Experience for 6 years running, this may well change.
The university could have the threat of a feminist retaliation, including not only the Women’s Network at Loughborough itself, but as we have already seen, support from the Women’s Network at UCL. Social media has incredible power to sway opinions and spark discussions, and with hashtags and such like making expression much more accessible than ever, Loughborough could trend, at it’s worst, as a violence-promoting institution.
With Reckless winning the election, this means the majority of students voted for him and believed he was right for the job, despite his actions. Although some people have claimed that they were unaware as to what he had done, the majority of the 3000+ Loughborough voters would have been aware. Were he to stand down, the majority of students who voted could possibly retaliate, causing further controversy.
Furthermore, if Reckless decided to step down, the national headlines and global petitions would prove that the unfair and biased campaigns against him would have had an impact upon the decision.
Is the Union President really everything?
The Unions’ activities aren’t all necessarily dependent on the Union President. There are many departments which have their own representatives, such as Societies, Union Affairs, Media and so on. In this perspective, we can see that many responsibilities are involved in running the Students’ Union.
Ed Reckless released a public apology, showing he is fully aware and responsible for his own decisions. During the Union President candidate Bubble Debate, which took place during campaigning, Reckless said:
I was involved in an incident on a night out with a girl, and there was no malicious intent. I have since gone through all the appropriate and possible channels to apologise to all people involved. I would like to use this opportunity to reiterate my sincerest apologies for my actions and my desire to apologise personally.
This shows that despite his violent behaviour, he is willing to improve and do anything he can to redeem himself and his name. Having this scandal happen, this could actually make his new role more effective, providing him with a more positive attitude and conscious mindset than what he previously expected of the role. Additionally, having the social pressure, and looming reputation, this could inspire him to disprove all of the national news and action worldwide, and perhaps improve the union in more ways than one. Effectively, the incident could have given Reckless a ‘wake-up call’, and his new reality to face is to be the ultimate role model for Loughborough’s students.
…If he stood down:
If Reckless were to step down from the role, the atmosphere of the union could improve dramatically, leaving Loughborough University without the taboo of various rumours and reputations. Electing a fresh face could also promote the University’s image, and improve its prospects for inviting new students. It could additionally show how Loughborough University actively encourages equality within the sexes and its zero-tolerance policy against violence. If Ed were to stand down, the post would reopen for nominations.
If Ed Reckless either decides to step down, or pursue his role, either way there could be consequences, and equally benefits too. Though this could see Loughborough’s most controversial candidate yet, it will nevertheless go down in the university’s history – for either good reasons or bad. Whatever happens, we are sure to see the most active student’s union yet, and this national scandal may well prove to be the most impacting event to date.