Label sat down with current VP Media Bryn Wilkes (who at present has had to step down from his role), to ask him why he is re-running to hold the VP Media position once more, and what challenges he thinks he will face in his decision to re-run.
Why are you running for this position?
It didn’t really cross my mind until November because it has been quite an interesting year for media really-it’s been a lot of building and planning for the future-and it kind of got to a point when I realised that if we’re going to keep building this long term legacy there needs to be an element of consistency, and by not having a hand-over period, where someone doesn’t have to learn how to take over everything that has been put in place this year, is going to make a big big difference. Now is the time for consistency, and I can stop fighting the little fires and start looking at the bigger picture, and focusing on things that will make LSU Media even greater in the long run.
What makes you suited to this role?
It’s such a simple answer to give but experience. Experience is key. Don’t get me wrong, I think I am very good at my job-I wouldn’t be running if I didn’t think otherwise, but I think the difference that it will make, with already having all the knowledge of the role and not having to re-learn it, will allow more time. I’ve got other qualities that help and which I think are responsible for LSU media having a successful year so far, but in terms of what sets me apart, it would be my experience.
Can you tell us a bit about your theme?
It’s the same again; it kind of had to be really. I flirted with the idea of going with something else, but there’s an Anchor Man 2 so it was a given really. Unfortunately, I’m sorry to tell everyone, but my moustache will be coming back, hence why I’ve been growing all this face fuzz for the last couple of months, and I do apologise, and it won’t be here for long.
What is the most important part of your manifesto?
The most important aspect of my manifesto is the tone that it is written in, and I know that’s a very vague answer, but the tone that it is written in is completely different from last year, and it’s no longer “I want to do this thing, and this thing and this thing” it’s looking at the bigger picture and the broader section of everything really, so I think the key point is the way it has been written, and the major strategic plans that I want to make that will last for years to come. Take the example of creating Lens last year. That was a very specific manifesto point for me, and obviously it did make a difference long term, but it was one particular thing that could be done in the space of a few months, but this manifesto is more about the wider things and the bigger things, which is thanks to what I’ve learnt on the job so far. Because I know a lot more than I did last year I’m able to make the calls about what can and should change.
In one sentence why should people vote for you?
People should vote for me because of the consistency that I shall bring to the role, and the expertise and knowledge that I have coming into it means that we can properly build a really big future for LSU Media.
What part of campaigning are you most looking forward to?
Door knocking, it’s got to be door knocking. I can’t remember the answer that I gave for this last year, but I think it must have been door knocking. Although everyone says that it’s a real arduous and time consuming thing to do, it’s actually absolutely brilliant and last year it was genuinely and thoroughly so enjoyable and although it took hours and hours, it was so fun to just meet people.
What are you least looking forward to?
I’m not looking forward to being away from my job for a week and a half to be honest. It’s been weird enough as it is being away from media for the past few days; I think that this is probably the biggest thing. It’s just a but more difficult this year, because with having a full time job I’ve had less time to prepare, and it means that I will probably have those moments during campaigning where I’ll go, ‘Oh no, I didn’t think of that’, but in terms of anything specific, I cant think of anything that would really make me go ‘nope, definitely not looking forward to that’, because the whole process was just so enjoyable last year.
What do you think will be the most challenging part?
The most challenging part of it will be challenging the notion that a lot of people will have which will be of wether or not I’m bullying my way into it, and that’s why I’m uncontested because nobody else wanted to go up against the incumbent, or that I just don’t want to let it go, because there really will be reactions like that, and going up against RON a lot of people will lean towards RON because they will think, ‘Oh he just wants another year, he’s just being lazy, why is he doing that?’ and I think the most challenging part of the whole campaign will be challenging that notion of people not realising my genuine reasons of going for the role, rather than just thinking that I’m trying to cling on.
What part of campaigning are you going to focus on most?
Social media is being out sourced, as I’ve got members of my team who will focusing on that for me, which gives me more time to focus on the priority, which will be door knocking. I had so many people say to me last year “oh you didn’t come to my block so I don’t want to vote for you”-in truth I did go to their block, they just weren’t there. But, people will generally be more likely to vote for someone that they see, so I’m going to make sure that I do visit every door.
What have you spent your budget on so far?
Very little so far. I will be using the same costume as last year, which I will deduct from my budget, and I’ve used the £10 allowance on posters, and may well dip further into my budget to cover more printing costs. I’ll probably be looking at brining back the burgundy bon bons as they went down very well last year, and then on props and things like that.
What new ideas will you be bringing to the role?
That’s the thing; it won’t be whole new ideas. The most enterprising and innovative and interesting thing that I am looking to explore, and it’s not really a thing that I can say “this is what I’m going to do”, it’s more of something that I want to look into, and that’s medias relationship with the university. I’ve spent my year behind the scenes making and building a much better relationship with media and the university, and creating links with the marketing and printing teams within the university who have got incredible kit and equipment, so they’ve got stuff that we can use and we’ve got stuff that they can use-So I’m really wanting to look at the relationship media has with the university and how to maximise that as there is a lot of potential there.
Can you tell us something that not many people may know about you?
I’m quite an open book, but I think I’ll go with what I said last year, which was that I can name all fifty states of America, which is still true.
What three characteristics will you be bringing to this role?
I am a very positive person, and I think what has happened this year within media is a real reflection of that, as the spirit in the media centre has been better than anything I’ve ever seen before. I think probably my best quality in my job is being a manager, I think my ability to delegate and run a team is probably the best thing I bring to a role and I am dedicated, I am more than happy to put the hours in to do what needs to be done.
This interview was conducted by Louise Burt, Label Editor.
To find out more about Bryn’s manifesto, click here.