The recent comment piece from Alice Ward attacking the Executive Election process is an example of what a pivotal role student media can have in the Loughborough bubble.
The great thing about student media is that it provides a platform for anybody to express their opinion. Well, at least in theory. Many views are suppressed, many angles uncovered and many universities have to rely on independent publications for opinions that do not toe the line.
In just a few hours, the article has provoked a fantastic response from students with a wide range of opinions. That is what we're here for. As Editor, I support its publication. As an individual, I disagree with much that Alice says. But who is anyone to restrict discussion on such matters? The debate about sweets, length of the campaigns and the quality of democracy is one that should be had.
Student Union employees, Hall Chairs, candidates and campaign teams… many of them seem to be wary of Label and what will be written about them, their Union and their University. Some feel Label is out to get them, watching their every move, ready to pounce on any wrongdoing or mistake.
The fact is, it's simply not true. Under my editorship (as the last seven months are the only ones I can vouch for) we have tried to do three things. Report factually, report in the public interest and hold anyone and everyone in 'power' to account. In turn, if we get it wrong, we deserve to be held to account. Above all, I hope that we have been fair and a force for good.
Of course, 'Why I Hate Elections' does not satisfy the factual objectivity criteria, but comment pieces don't have to. I think Alice is wrong to say that the Executive Elections are "the most pointless two-weeks", but then again, some will think she is right.
Despite various deficiencies, I think the Elections process is a great one. However, I am the Editor that has introduced a daily elections blog, so that's pretty obvious.
If anyone would like to write a reponse to Alice, please email it to me here.