The Men Behind The Manifestos: Kyle Pyne-James and George Etherington
First and foremost, I would just like to establish a particularly important principle of this article. All four presidential candidates were contacted with the same message, through the same medium by myself, though I was only privileged enough to receive replies from two. Perhaps you could consider that as symbolic of what this years presidential election is in my eyes, very much a two horse race. Whilst George Swindells and Ashish Sharma offer ideas holding both originality and gravitas to LSU’s structural set-up, in my very humble opinion, this is an election between the Falk-Egg and Faraday Hall chairs of years gone by: George Etherington and Kyle Pyne-James.
Following on from my initial dialogue with both Kyle and George, I wanted to find out who exactly was running to be Loughborough’s new Union President. Manifesto critiques of an evaluative nature alongside LSUTV uploads with light-hearted discussion will go some way to influencing your democratic contribution, though I wanted to delve into who exactly the men behind the manifestos are for this years Union President. The description an individual would give of themselves can often differ to how they are perceived by their colleagues and peers, hence the decision to interview those who have associated their names with the campaigns of Kyle and George, rather than the presidential candidates themselves. Alternative? Unquestionably. Though this is how Kyle Pyne-James and George Etherington’s proposers and seconders portrayed their candidates in an interview with myself on behalf of Label earlier this week.
Faraday Hall Chair 2016-2017
Faraday Male Sports Secretary 2015-2016
Proposer: Busayo Adeniran
Seconder: James Bowker
“Why are you proposing and seconding Kyle for Union President”?
BA, JB: “For us, he’s the best candidate for the position. Kyle is a hard working, tenacious character who doesn’t stop till he’s got the job done. His tenure as Faraday Hall Chair showed these leadership traits, and if you were to ask any of his committee what they thought of him you’d hear similar messages: approachable, determined and very, very hard working”.
“What would you say Kyle’s best attribute is that would allow him to fulfil the role of an outstanding Union President?”
JB: “I would say Kyle is a terrific public speaker, he holds an ability to express himself in a personal yet professional manner, whilst developing a rapport with important stakeholders in the process. My time on HSF with Kyle showed all of this and more, he’s more than happy to listen to what others have to say, whilst asserting his thoughts and feelings in a firm but fair manner”.
BA: “I feel Kyle’s tenacity has to be his biggest strength, he strives to build teams that work in a cohesive style whilst ensuring the task at hand is being addressed. Kyle isn’t afraid to speak up for his beliefs and views and always ensured on HSF that Faraday’s voice was heard, I strongly believe this has given him the footing to be a fantastic President for Loughborough Students’ Union”.
“Beneath the bravado of campaign week, how do you feel Kyle has been coping in the spotlight of the Executive Elections 2017?”
BA: “It would be fair to say Kyle’s been understandably stressed but I think that just goes to show how much he wants this. We’ve been bouncing ideas off each other throughout the week in his campaign team, keeping him energised and making sure he’s got all the support he needs whilst ensuring he’s keeping his spirits up in an understandably exhausting time of the year”.
JB: “Touching on what Busayo’s just mentioned, he has been stressed but he’s been stressed for a reason. In the time I’ve known Kyle I haven’t seen his determination reach these heights, he’s set his eyes on the goal in hand and that goal is to become Loughborough’s next Union President”.
In a single sign-off message to Loughborough’s voting demographic, why should Kyle Pyne-James be their next Union President?
JB, BA : “Kyle wants this more than any of the other presidential candidates, of course that’s just our opinion but the determination of the guy is astounding. Tenacious, assertive but all with an undertone of fairness and an ability to listen: he’ll get the jobs done, and for us Kyle has the potential and ability to be a terrific president for Loughborough Students’ Union”.
Falkner Eggington Hall Chair 2016-2017
Eggington Representative 2015-2016
Proposer: Micheal Bush
Seconder: Lily Wadsworth
“Why are you proposing and seconding George for Union President?”
MB: “I thought he’d be a great candidate for the position, George has a laid back and approachable persona about him but he’s incredibly hard working, I think we’d both definitely agree on that. A president has to be able to motivate the Executive and to create an environment in which section leaders will flourish and in turn the Union will too, George has the ability to do exactly that”.
LW: “When I came onto HSF as a first year, female Hall Chair, I think it’d be fair to say I was quite intimidated by the number of big personalities in the room. From the outset, George would always make time to speak to me, see how I was doing and without fail made the extra effort to check in and made me feel more comfortable. I think his ability to get on with everyone is a massive part of why he’d be such a great president, but when he needs to put his foot down he’s certainly not afraid to”.
“What would you say George’s best attribute is that would allow him to fulfil the role of an outstanding Union President?”
LW: “George is a very approachable guy who treats everyone as equal. He’s got a big personality which is infectious in a positive way, and I think he’s the kind of person that would use his communication skills and likability to progress Loughborough Students’ Union in whichever way he could”.
GB: “Echoing what Lily just said, George is a big character who knows how and when to have fun. As leader of the Executive, I believe he’d create a working ethos that would rub off on not just fellow Executive members, but in and around the Union on its staff as well. He is very easy to get on with and knows how to express himself in a very elegant way, communication skills are essential for successful presidency, and I believe George has these credentials about him”.
“From what you’ve seen of George in your contact with him through HSF, would you say his term in office as Falk-Egg Hall Chair could be considered as a success?”
LW: “I think it could certainly be considered a success, I’ve only heard positive remarks from his committee and he definitely presented Falk-Egg in a professional manner through HSF. For me, a good example of George’s leadership skills were earlier this academic year in Freshers, during the sing-off. There’s no denying Falk-Egg’s well documented tradition of disqualification through causing havoc, though this year there was a new side to it all. There were no typical chants as you might perhaps have seen from the other Halls, but he maintained Falk-Egg’s traditions without theoretically breaking the rules. To go against the trademark Falk-Egg chaos of his successors sums George up really, he’s not afraid to buck the trend but is also a leader that commands respect from his colleagues in a really positive way”.
In a single sign-off message to Loughborough’s voting demographic, why should George Etherington be their next Union President?
GB, LW: George can deal with the pressure of leading Loughborough Students’ Union and I think we both firmly believe this is a guy who is friendly, approachable but is willing to go above and beyond for the Union. The manifesto he has put out places a firm emphasis on addressing student issues, and if elected George would unquestionably stay true to his word. A lovely guy who wants this role so, so much. Vote George Etherington for Union President.
George and Kyle’s proposers and seconders painted them both in an expectedly positive light, though the preconceived ideas I had ascertained from a distance were re-enforced. The phrase ‘tenacity’ in reference to Kyle’s persona was recurrent, and with regard to positions held in his Halls of residence; Faraday, this can be seen as justified. George was described as a friendly face with an ability to motivate his colleagues, and having spoken with previous Falk-Egg committee members post-Label interview, it would be fair to say this seems an accurate descriptor. Swindells and Sharma seem to have been left by the way-side; a pre-Bubble Debate poll leaving them both with a combined 11% of the vote, in contrast to George and Kyle’s collective 89%. Loughborough have seemingly been presented with two presidency options sharing traits of strong leadership abilities though differing in tandem too. Kyle Pyne-James appears as a motivator, an orator with a work-horse like ethos whilst George Etherington comes across to be a personable, likeable character who isn’t afraid to have his voice heard. The voting demographic of Loughborough’s Students’ Union have been given two particularly strong presidency options, and for me either of these candidates would excel in the role, though come March 8th, who will be following in the footsteps of Jonathan Ako? Only time will tell.
– By Tom Newman