Edward Reckless is standing down from his elected position as Loughborough Students’ Union President for next academic year.
Reckless has received a considerable amount of negative national press coverage in the last couple of weeks, which came as a result of a petition which was being run against his presidency, started on 21st March. Having received over 3000 votes from Loughborough students in the executive Elections, Reckless won the position, despite there being over 1000 RON votes, as well as over 2000 votes for opponent, Adam Sellers.
Following speculation concerning ongoing talks with the likes of Union Affairs and the Union Forum, Reckless has now given this statement (sourced from the LSU site), retracting his appointed role:
“I was democratically elected as Union President due to the desire I have to improve the Loughborough Students Union. This is reflected in my manifesto, backed by my knowledge and experience to implement changes and ideas to enhance the Union and the Student Experience as a whole.
During campaigning I was serving a ban from the Union building as a consequence of my unacceptable behaviour on a night out in the weeks previous. I do not condone my actions and deeply regret how I conducted myself; the support from my campaign team and friends shows how out of character it was. Once again I sincerely apologise to all involved and those who feel this makes me unsuitable to be President.
In order to fulfil the role of President effectively and bring what I had envisioned for the Union to life, it is crucial to have a strong working relationship with the university and its staff. The current circumstances prevent this relationship from existing and would only damage the current ties.
Since it is apparent I will not have the support or relationships desired, and to prevent any damage, it is for this reason I am standing down from my position as Union President Elect.
This experience has highlighted flaws within the Union constitution and the election process that need to be addressed. Clear eligibility rules are necessary to ensure students understand restrictions, and if there are concerns about a student’s candidacy for election, it should be highlighted, discussed and prevented significantly in advance.
This needs to be seriously reviewed to prevent future students and candidates going through the same ordeal that I have, committing the time and expense of myself and my team, and undergoing harassment and emotional stress since being elected.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my entire campaign team, friends and those who voted for me based upon my strengths, vision and experience. I have really appreciated all the kind words of support that I have received throughout this difficult time. All your hard work and sacrifice for me has been truly remarkable and I cannot thank you enough.
Union President Elect”
Reckless feared he would not have the right bond with staff and students that would be necessary for him to carry out the role to the best of his ability. Ed has now sacrificed his role, stepping down by what many see as popular demand. The petition against Reckless was promoted via online platforms, namely Facebook, Twitter and the petition site, which gained over 3500 signatures.
What happens next?
The role is now to be reopened as what is called a “campus-wide ballot”. This means that there could be a by-election and the matter now rests in the hands of the Union Affairs Committee. Any member of Loughborough Students’ Union can put themselves forward for the Executive role. You are able to view the constitution here for further information, although there is currently no clear guidance on the exact procedure which will follow. LSU Media will bring you further news when it is available. For the time being, we stand without an elected Union President and await a new set of possible candidates.