One of the most important elements of any manifesto is its clarity. Making vague promises on the wider improvement of postgraduate experience could detract from the candidates ability to ensure voters support their campaign – and unfortunately both manifestos are vague on certain issues.
Our first candidate (Oreoluwa Adeola) does not practically explain how they intend to improve the ‘integration of sports, accommodation and social events.’ How would they go about doing this? The manifesto seems to suggest that this individual does not have a comprehensive understanding of Loughborough Students’ Union nor the specific sections that comprise the Union as a whole – however that could be a positive, as a fresh perspective could bring novel and unique ideas to the role of PGEO. It is a positive sign that the candidate has spoken to current postgraduates and identified some areas for improvement – but without offering tangible or practical examples of their intention, the overriding feeling of the manifesto is one of uncertainty and inexperience.
The second manifesto (Otavio Schaitza) offers some clarity on their goals for their potential period in office – and does include specific reference to achievements and previous work undertaken by current PGEO George Hones. However, from my experience working with George there are several ideas within this manifesto that already echo the work he is doing. I have worked with George on ensuring there are clarity of expectations for students and faculty – but only for PGR students. Whilst this indicates the candidate is familiar with what George is doing, thus demonstrating some engagement, it does not seem particularly innovative to write about what is already happening. The current LSU Postgraduate Committee are also already in discussions about a Welcome Week – however this candidate has identified it is a pressing matter, which is good. Focusing on how to engage students with profiling is a welcome addition.
I think there are holes in both manifestos, but one offers more clarity and a broader range of ideas. It will be interesting to see how both expand on their manifestos in the coming week.