As voting draws to an end, candidates have been pulling out the big guns. Posters seem to have grown and there’s more sweets at every corner as candidates try to attract attention. The same goes for the VPDR candidates and we’ve seen increasingly more exciting campaign methods including a cardboard wall, a painted door on campus and sweets […]

Written by Zahra Damji
Final Year Law Student and Redbrick News Editor.
Last updated

As voting draws to an end, candidates have been pulling out the big guns. Posters seem to have grown and there’s more sweets at every corner as candidates try to attract attention. The same goes for the VPDR candidates and we’ve seen increasingly more exciting campaign methods including a cardboard wall, a painted door on campus and sweets out of a martini glass. Below, the candidates tell us what they’ve been up to over the campaigning period.

Rob ‘the Builder’ Sassoon

How are you feeling with campaigning nearly over?

I’m feeling really great. I feel like I’m on top of everything at the moment. We’ve got our wall out on campus today with the big picture of Bob the Builder and it says ‘Vote Rob the Builder for VPDR’ on it and I think students have been responding really well to it and I’m continuing to do lecture shouts, I’m continuing to engage with students, giving out sweets, giving out flyers.

Highlights of the week?

I’ve got to say the wall actually. I really love it and full credit to my team for getting that ready and getting that here. Also, I’ve got a video released, which is on YouTube and there’s a link on my facebook page.

Anything going on in the next hour?

We’re going to keep going right till the clock strikes four on Friday. I’m not going to hold back. I’m going to make sure my name is out there and that as many students as possible have heard of me and heard of my policies and want to vote for me and then do vote for me.

How have students responded to policies and ‘Rob the Builder’ theme?

The reason that I ran as Rob the Builder is because I want to show that I want to fix the guild because the guild needs to get better at what it does. And I thinks that’s resonated with people and they’ve realised that there’s an underlying message to my campaign that’s more than just a high-vis jacket and a hard helmet to get people’s attention.

Most effective campaign methods?

I’ve really enjoyed talking to students and that has always been the best way. Doing the lecture shout outs and talking to them before hand and giving them my all about why they should vote for me. As well as that, door knocking has been really positive and there are some flats on the Vale that I’ve been into and I’ve stayed there for about half an hour because I’ve been talking to them about everything and anything to do with the guild. And it’s been really good that people want to engage with the candidates on such a level.

Leander ‘the Panda’ Jones

How are you feeling with campaigning nearly over?

Pretty knackered. Trying to work out what I’m going to do at the weekend. I’m losing the energy but I realise I have to keep it up because my opponents probably will.

Plans for the next hour?

I’ve brought out all my novelties already unfortunately. I brought out the accordion yesterday. I think that went pretty well but other people have decided they’re going to bring out their instruments. It’s a constant acceleration of ways to get attention.

Highlights of the week?

This might sound a bit boring but I realise that there’s way more sophistication in terms of level of understanding of what’s going on at the university, the education changes, what’s going on at the guild than I thought there were. There are quite a lot of people who are just completely ignorant of what’s going on that’s important. Yeah, I’ve been given courage that there’s potential for change. That sounds really clichéd and ‘Obama-esque’ but it’s true.

Most effective campaign technique?

On the one hand, door knocking’s really good because you get to be really intimate with people and you get to say that I’m coming to you and speaking to you about this thing. And people really like that. The ones that don’t, they just tell you to go away really quickly and that’s a nice thing to do. I’ve given up pretty much on going up to people in the daytime and trying to talk to them on campus because that’s quite tiring. Most people just stare ahead and try walking away really fast. I like lecture shouts as well and I think it depends on thecandidate really.

How have students responded to policies and panda theme?

I think unfortunately, people have responded more to my theme than my policies. No, a lot of people like my policies as well. Particularly the ones that emphasise student participation, such as one of my policies for a wider variety of events decided by students. It’s like, ‘yeah, I’d like to say what happens’. Also, the serious things like wanting democratic reform. Also, other people think that the panda thing is cute. My friend over there wears my panda suit. He looks like a very forlorn panda, looking down at his feet and I think it’s actually done me a lot of favours.

Vici ‘Casino’ Royle

How are you feeling with campaigning nearly over?

At the end of every day, I’m getting more and more tired but I refresh every day. I try and make sure that I get enough sleep. I’m getting really positive feedback from students. I mean there are a few that are sick and tired of campus looking like it is and to be honest, so am I. Some of the cardboard does look very messy. That’s something I’d like to change, about giving people more ideas about publicity. I think cardboard’s on its way out now.

Highlights of the week?

That Owen came back (to clarify, Owen is VPE candidate Dave ‘Home of witty banter’ Glenwright’s campaign manager, who has been in Germany all year but has been imported for the campaign. Both Dave and Owen were campaigning nearby). Apart from that, talking to people and today, there were lots of the candidates outside the library and Dave’s been doing this glory lap to keep up the morale. He’s got his gold scooter out and we’ve all doing a lap around campus and keeping record. Currently, the Stig is winning so basically, Dave’s campaign is my highlight.

Most effective campaign techniques?

Sweet sugary bribes always work because people are all getting really sick of the elections at the moment and they don’t really want to take a leaflet unless there’s something in it for them. So it’s just spreading the love with my loveheart sweets in my little martini glass. And actually speaking to people about what they want from the guild as well. I’ve got really positive responses about my Joe’s card idea. Just speaking to people and seeing new faces day. Like on Monday, which was possibly the biggest highlight of the week was that I spoke to a first year psychology student who was really frustrated with the elections. I actually spoke to her more about the elections than my own campaign and gave her a hug afterwards and made sure that she was ok and coping afterwards and that she could use the ARC afterwards if she wanted to. Just making people happy. That’s what I want to do: change the world and spread the love.

How have people responded to not just your policies but also your theme?

The theme, people are loving it. Seriously, Vici ‘Casino Royale’ really works. The martini glass, I’m getting loads of “oh, that’s great”. Because people are giving out sweets in boxes but putting a spin on it and using a glass is really good. And when they figure out that “oh yeah, it rhymes with the name”. Because it’s not really a gimmick, it’s really branding. Yeah, I’m not really going over the top with a gimmick, I’m focusing on policy.