Label got a chance to interview Rag Exec hopeful Rachael Lynch, who shared her Rag experiences with us and the new ideas that she hopes to implement.

Why are you running for this position? 

I’ve got a ton of experience in this area. I’m extremely passionate about Rag and the whole charity sector, so to be able to put back into the union in the best way I know how, which I fundraising loads of money and getting people involved as well as putting my own unique spin onto the section and the role, would just be a dream. It’s what I want to do as a job later in my life.

What makes you more suited than the other candidates? 

I definitely feel that I’m the best candidate for this. I’ve got more experience in areas that are actually suited to the role: I did an internship at Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) over the summer as an events fundraising assistant, so it pretty much was what the role is here, it was just more concentrated onto one area; I’ve done an incredible amount of the actual events here, I’ve done Kilimanjaro, Dare, London to Paris, I’m doing Everest. I’ve taken part in most of the internal events as well, either helping out and running them or being a participant. I’ve definitely got experience in the area; I’ve been a team leader for Dare and Everest, so I know how to lead a team and really motivate a group of people. I’ve got a great relationship with all the hall reps. Actually working here in the building as a an assistant venue manager has meant that when it comes down to the little things, like how are we going to put on Choose A Challenge, how are we going to sort out Beer Keller this year, means that I already have the inside Union information about these things, that I wouldn’t need to learn, as it’s all things that I’ve already picked up so I know what I’m doing.

Can you tell us about your campaign theme?

My theme is Rachael “Lionheart” Lynch. To be “lionhearted” is to be brave, determined and to challenge yourself. You’ve got to be pretty brave to jump out of a plane or take on Tough Guy, you have to be really determined to reach that couple of thousand pound fundraising target or to stay for that extra half an hour on a Rag raid to raise a bit more, and if you’re taking on Mount Kilimanjaro or sledding across the Arctic Circle on the Dare trip that really is challenging yourself. So “Lionheart” really does encompass what Rag is really all about.

What is the most important aspect of your manifesto?

The main point of my manifesto is that I want to unite all the sections in the union, so AU, Societies, Action, Welfare etc, as well as making Rag more accessible- so not just for a small group of people- but open it up to the entire student population, the college students as well, international students, even alumni when they come back. I want to push Rag to as many people as possible.

In one sentence, why should people vote for you? 

I have the ability, the determination and the experience for this role; I feel it was just made for me and I know I could bring my own personal spin to it and make it an incredible section so we can smash that million pound target again.

What are you most looking forward to about campaigning? 

Is it really bad if I say the free food that we get? The free food and I think on a nicer note, I think what I’m looking forward to is when I go round door knocking and it is going to be tiring, it is going to be a bit repetitive, but I’m waiting for that one person who just sits back and goes: “You know what, yeah I really agree with that. In fact, you could do this to make it better”. And it’s that one person I’m waiting for, I know they’re out there, to say something that could spark a whole new idea. I’ve got loads of ideas already but if they spark something else, I’d love to do it for that person.

What part of campaigning are you most going to focus on? 

It’s pretty much going to be split 50/50 between door knocking and social media because I want to try and get a vast group of people and face-to-face and online are the places where people can see the most amount of information. I want to door-knock and I’ve also got a website as well as a twitter feed, as well as the Facebook page.

What made you want to run for the position? 

I’ve been involved with charities since I was 13 years old, so that’s 7, nearly 8, years. I’ve always been interested in it and I’ve always been good at it, it’s just one of those things that I can do and I really enjoy so I’ve always wanted to go for the position because before I even came to university I wanted to go into charity work and at the end of my first year I decided there and then that I wanted to run for what was at the time Rag Chair, but now it’s VP Rag. I decided then I was running for it and I’ve had my campaign planned since the end of my first year.

What do you like about the way the role has been carried out this year?

I feel that Danni has handled it incredibly well, considering the unfortunate hiccup we had at the beginning of the year with Student Adventures. It was so unfortunate to see so many students not being able to go on their trips and a lot of stuff being cancelled. It was so last minute, just before our Choose A Challenge which is a massive event where we sign people up to events, and she handled that stress and pressure incredibly well. I remember being on the phone to other people when I was working at MRF, even calling people from Loughborough, and telling them “Unfortunately, you won’t be able to go on your trip but I’m here to help get you on another one”, so I was taking a lot of calls on. I even rang one of the other candidates’ parents throughout the process. So I know that for Danni to come onto that position and to take that challenge on is incredible. Since then, her carrying stuff on, she’s not only tried to finish off her own manifesto points but finish off the rest of Paul’s. With a year being such a short period of time, it’s difficult to get everything fitted in all at once but she’s definitely started things off and putting the structures in place for the next person to come on. She’s doing everything she said she’d do and she’s doing it well.

What new ideas will you be bringing? 

I have a lot. Stuff that spans from a Zombie Run all over campus which was done by another university a couple of years back and was really we received. I actually took part in a 2.8 Hours Later, which is a zombie run, in London in October and that was amazing and I just thought that we could do this on campus. We’ve got a huge space to corner off, we could take over, it would be amazing. I’ve even found out ways to fundraise for it, I’ve set targets for it. It’s already planned it so even if I don’t get the role, I’m just going to hand the paperwork over because they need to put these events on. I’ve thought of a giant sleep-out for the homeless, I was going to call it Under The Stars, we would work with Action at the same time and people would sleep-out for 24 hours and at the end of it any clothes that they have that were particularly warm and that they don’t need they can put them into a donation station. Any money that gets raised over the event gets given to Action and they can buy stuff to make hampers to give to the homeless shelters or one of the charities we have in Loughborough.

I also want to put on varsity raids between halls as well as different universities, like Warwick or Portsmouth. I also wanted to instil hall challenges, like Towers’ Battle Royale and Royce’s The Royce 100. These events are really nice and are becoming traditions for these halls, it would be nice if every hall could have something like that. Harry French, for the third year running, are about to do a boys vs girls netball tournament for charity; I set this up two years ago and it looks like it’s going to start becoming a tradition for them. People love things like that, and it only raises a couple of hundred pounds but it’s not always the money at the end of the day, if you can get that involvement set in stone from that first year, you’ll have volunteers up until they leave.

What 3 characteristics do you have that make you well suited for this role? 

I think I’m a great listener; I definitely will take on board what people say. I’ll try to implement as many ideas as possible. I’m very, very helpful; I’ve had different universities and charities message me about the way I do things, asking me to help out on their events, messaging me personally rather than coming through the union. I feel I’m very honest; if something isn’t working or I want to change it, I will. For example, with the committee positions there are at the moment, I would definitely like to change one of them from one of the External Events Coordinators. I’ve spoken to them recently and they said there doesn’t really need to be two, so I would like to change one of them to a Union Section Coordinator, so they can help monitor the AU and Education etc. involvement, if we get something up and running.

What are you least looking forward to about campaigning? 

The lack of sleep. I’m also really nervous for the Bubble Debate, I’m terrified. I’m not a very good public speaker, I’ve just rambled in this and I’m just really bad at public talking. It’s all up here, I know it all, it just doesn’t come out so the Bubble Debate is either going to be a make or break for me.

What is going to be the most challenging part? 

Definitely trying to talk in that Bubble Debate and trying to get round every hall. I really do want to get round as many people as possible and I know everyone wants to do that as well. I think trying to fit in time to eat food as well, I think I’m going to be so concentrated on trying to get everything done I’m going to sit down and think “I’ve not even had a sandwich today”.

What have you spent your budget on? 

I’ve gone pretty close up to the wire but it’s not because I’ve spent all the £100, its just you have to count in for stuff. I already had loads of stuff but they have to be accounted for as well. So I’ve spent it on stamps, a big banner, my costume, and the posters as well. The main thing is I’ve got little Rag cans and I’m putting stickers around them and they will be hung up all over campus. If people take a picture with them or a selfie with them, there’s a prize at the end of the week of 2 tickets to Chester Zoo to see the Lions.

 Tell us something people may not know about you. 

I was on the first ever series of Britain’s Got Talent and no I did not get very far. I was very, very young, it was the first series, and no one knew how the show worked. And no, I will not tell you what I did.

 This interview was conducted by Liz Tyler, Sports Editor, Leanna Kightley, Culture Editor and Courtney Ricketts, Features Team Leader and Culture Editor.

To find out more about Rachael’s manifesto click here.


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