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Damon Fairley, former President of Furness College won the election for VP Union Development against fellow candidate Natalie Collins, with only 150 votes in it. Speaking to Farley after the results he said, “I really don’t know how to feel at the minute, it was so close. I’m absolutely over the moon, two weeks of really hard campaigning seems to have paid off. I’m really excited.”
Fairley first gave thanks to his college, Furness, “for a fantastic turn out. Loads of people in the college got behind me and helped with my campaign.” Furness College had the highest turn out of votes, with 35% of students voting. Fairley also especially thanked Peter who ran his campaign and “essentially just every single student that voted for me.”
When asked about his campaign, Fairley believed that his Presidency was definitely helpful. “If you’re a President you get to know a lot of students and if you then stand for elections, they’re probably going to vote for you.” He went on to elaborate, “It was probably my videos are what just swung it for me, because I put a lot of emphasis on them and we put a lot of work into them.”
While Fairley praised the current FTOs, he said what he wants to improve on is democracy. “I want to put an emphasis back on democracy again. I think the turnout has been okay for these elections, it was just under 20%, but I think we really need to put more focus on that.”
He further reiterated his manifesto, commenting that he also wants to put more of an emphasis on Commercial Services as he feels it is “something we have ignored for quite a long time”.
He also added that he wants to “re-empower the colleges to make sure they’re being ambitious and delivering new and innovative social events.” He also wanted “to make sure they see LUSU as an aid to achieve what they want to achieve, rather than something that gets in the way.”
Fairley’s main overarching priority when he takes over as VP is to “identify currently why LUSU seems to be quite lacking in terms of student engagement and why there are so few students actually getting involved with LUSU.” He says he aims to tackle this over the year and get more students involved. Ending the interview Fairley said “I’m just hoping I do everyone proud now!”