After waiting over an hour for the Rag Chair candidate to turn up, Label finally got sit down with the Rutherford Hall Chair, Mike Lyness and ask him our five big questions. Lyness isn’t afraid to turn a few heads during campaigning and is vocal on expressing what he believes needs to change within the university, as he takes on Paul Nanson to be your next Rag Chair. Here’s what he had to say.

  1. What are the main reasons behind you running for Rag chair?

“Well I did a Rag raid in my first year, I really enjoyed it and I’ve enjoyed it ever since and it annoys me that more people don’t do it for the reasons I do. I’m not massively like I need to go and collect loads of money for charity but I enjoy it, I think it’s a great thing to do so I just want to run so I can put more spin on the way I want to do things in Rag because I want more people to have the opportunity and knowledge that it’s a good thing to do. It’s a great way to spend your time. I think that the image of Rag, isn’t what it could be at the moment. The image I’d like it to be is somewhere you can go get involved, have fun, travel the country a little bit and also raise an unbelievable amount of money for charity at the same time. But the emphasis shouldn’t just be on fundraising I think the emphasis should be on people enjoying themselves too because involvement isn’t as high as it could be."

  1. What do you think of the current Rag chair, Max Turner and is there anything you would plan to do differently if you were in that position next year?

“Max is good at it, but his people skills are perhaps even worse than mine. His people skills aren’t great. The problem is the reps who are responsible for getting people involved from halls a lot of them just don’t want to work hard for him because they don’t think he deserves it. When in the past two years we’ve had two Rag chairs who were extremely good at maintaining non-formal relationships with reps and so those reps a few hours before raids will be ringing round and door knocking trying to get people on the raids, because they didn’t want to let them down. Whereas this year Max (who is one of my best friends) a lot of people can’t handle him that well, and if it’s not going well, they’ll just go I can’t be bothered I’ll just leave it. I want to do what Sarah (Musgrave) and Maddy (Buckley) did. Obviously it’s very impractical to be best friends with 32 reps and spend all your time with them, and hold their hands on dates, but I want to invite them to the office a lot more and just chill with them. When they walk in I don’t want to say what do you want? What buckets do you need? I want to say alright mate how’s it going? Sit down. I want to maintain better relationships with reps and committee because at the end of the day they’re the people who will get people on the events. If you’re Rag chair you can organise all the events in the world but it’s not up to you to get people to go on them, which is the most important thing so you need better relationships with those reps."

  1. What is your one main manifesto point?

"I want to focus on the fundraising, I want to get at least £1,000,000 but my main target is to increase FUN-drasing. That’s what I want to do, I want to make people realise it’s a fun thing to do, you get to travel the country, get to meet people and you get to raise a lot of money for charity. There’s not a single downside to it. Unfortunately people don’t seem to realise that at the moment."

  1. Why should students vote for you to be the next Rag chair over anyone else in Loughborough?

“Because I’m an extremely honest person. A lot of people will at first tend to dislike me but after a while people will begin to realise that I am who I am and I don’t tend to conform to well. Like for example on HSF you know I’m not one of the most popular characters because I actually speak my mind and say what needs to be said sometimes. But people should vote for me for my experience. I’ve been star fundraiser, I’ve been rep of the year, Kilimanjaro team leader, I’ve been a Hall Chair, I’m physics vice chair, I’ve done the New York marathon, I’m logistics co-ordinator, I’ve been a Rag rep. I’ve done everything to do with Rag you can possible imagine. There’s only one person who knows more about Rag than I do, and he got kicked out of uni two years ago because he did Rag so much he failed his degree."

  1. In one sentence, can you sum up what you think the role of Rag chair involves?

“This is a bit of a copout but enabling Loughborough students union to still be one of the highest student fundraisers in Europe, whilst maintaining a high level of involvement from the students."


All answers given are those of the candidates, recorded and transcribed word for word.

Mike is running as 'Linebacker Lyness' in this years Executive Elections. To read his opposition, Paul Nanson's answers to the five big questions click here



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