Label had a chance to interview Ed Reckless, who is campaigning in the hopes of becoming the next Union President.
Why are you running for this position?
I am running for this position because for me it is a fantastic opportunity to work in the students union and to give back to the university that I have taken so much from. I have been a student here for four years, which is quite a long time, and in those years I have got involved in all sections, such as Hall committees, Action, Welfare, Rag and have loved every minute of it, and it has impacted my student experience. I have just had a fantastic time here and I would love to be able to help improve it, run it, and make sure everyone has the chance to have the experiences that I have had. There are certain aspects that I think could be improved, so, I think that not everyone gets involved with the union as much as they could do, and I’m driven to make sure people get to experience it.
What makes you more suited to this role than other candidates?
I have got a lot of experience in the last four years that I have been here, such as being Hall Chair of Falk Egg in my second year, and the HSF vice chair, (which is the Hall Students Federation) and both of those positions have allowed me to work closely with the Exec, particularly with the President when it comes to running halls, and helping to get involved in the union campaigns. The current Exec bring their new campaigns and thoughts to the HSF committee so that they can be implemented into Halls and around campus. Being a hall chair I have been active in getting people involved. I have gained a lot of skills through these roles, and feel that I am a good leader and can present myself well to other people. I think that I am driven enough to work hard, shown through my degree (Aeronautical Engineering) which takes a lot of time and commitment, and it has given me characteristics that I know will make me well suited in this role and will make me work hard within the University and the community.
Can you tell us about your campaign theme?
My last name is Reckless, which is quite unusual. And from my first day here everyone has asked me “Is this really your name!?”, and I’ve had to get my ID out numerous times to prove that it is actually my last name. For that reason though, it’s quite catchy and a lot of people know me as just ‘Reckless’. But a Reckless president I will not be, and it’s not in my nature, but it’s a catchy name that I want to help drive my campaign. However, I am going for a Relentless Reckless campaign, so I am going to be relentless in my campaigning, and obviously I would work relentlessly if I was to get the job. Everyone knows the Relentless can, and the Relentless ‘R’, so I’m basing my campaign around that font, so I have changed Relentless into Reckless.
What is the most important aspect of your manifesto?
My manifesto is made from different key points, none of which I feel stand-alone as the most important as they interrelate quite heavily. My manifesto is all about Represent, Aware, Access and Feedback, and they all interlink quite closely together. I want to increase awareness of union facilities, increase access to union sections and services that are available-so more people can get involved, and then for everyone to give feedback on how they think it went. Then we need to get more people involved so that we can have a greater representation of people. I feel like we have a good representation on campus, but I would like to push our representation in the community more, and it could be improved.
But my stand-alone point is employability. I’ve never had a part-time job at Uni, and when I was a fresher I thought I would be able to get by. But of course there are those times throughout the year when you get quite low on cash and you become limited in how much you’re spending, and it always occurred to me that if I got a job it would be easier. I know a lot of people work at the union and a lot of people also work in town. Not only does the university have a fantastic employability centre, that offers placements and grad jobs, but I would like to set up a local employability network, so that freshers coming to Uni can get in touch with employers, and get applications sent off and get involved in and off campus.
In one sentence why should people vote for you?
People should vote for me because I am extremely hard-working, and dedicated-and not only to the union, but to everything that I do, and I have a lot of experience in dealing with a lot of sections within the union from Rag through to Welfare, and I also have a lot of experience in Halls, living in town and working with the university, which I feel puts me in good stead to utilise my own ideas, as I feel I can be very creative, which combined together would make a fantastic President who can lead to Exec and have a productive year, in order to continue with the success of the Uni as well as moving it forward, and making sure everyone has the Loughborough student experience.
What are you most looking forward to about campaigning?
I am looking forward to meeting a lot of new people, I love meeting new people and hearing about their experiences and what we can change and improve.
Is there anything you’re not looking forward to?
I don’t think so. Tiredness probably. I imagine we shall all be shattered.
What do you think will be the most challenging part?
I think accessing people in town and getting them involved, I have some ideas, but it will be hard.
What part of campaigning will you focus on most?
I think there is going to be a good balance, although no man can do it on their own. Door knocking will great, as it’s all about hearing what people have to say, but social media will be a key part of it as well, as you wouldn’t be able to reach 17,000 students without it.
What have you spent your budget on?
A fair bit has gone on printing for posters, as I’ve gone for quite a colourful, bright pink design. I’ve spent money on materials as I’m making my own Reckless cans.
What made you want to run for this position?
I want to run because I think a lot for people see Exec as just a ‘big name’ thing, but I don’t see exec like that, I see it as a very crucial and important job. After seeing the Exec working, and what they do, it made me want to get involved with the students as much as possible, and to help improve everyone’s time at Loughborough, and work closely with the University and the fantastic staff here.
What do you like about the way the role has been carried out this year?
Support between linking the sections, such as Welfare and Sport seen through the Play with Pride Campaign.
What new ideas will you bring to the role?
As mentioned my employability idea, and accessibility ideas are something I want to implement. I would want to go onto campus every week, in order to make Exec more of a presence around campus, and hold sessions in the EHB, James France and The Library in order to actually talk to people, because although the Exec door is always open, if you don’t know it’s there you wouldn’t go and share your ideas. So I want there to be more interaction with students in places that they will be, rather than them having to come to the Exec.
What is an interesting face about you?
I have lived in 3 different Falk Eggs. The original, the on tour Falk Egg, and now what is Falk Egg.
What three characteristics do you have that make you well suited to this role?
Approachable, driven and hard working.
This interview was conducted by Louise Burt, Label Editor.
to find out more about Ed, click here.