“Absolutely ecstatic. Over the moon. I can’t believe that I got it. I really didn’t expect to,” Tom Stapleton said when SCAN sat down with him to talk about his election victory. In a relatively close contest, the former Cartmel College President beat former Bowland College President Lee Dudding in the final round of election counting by a little over a hundred votes. Stapleton finished the final round with 940 votes to Dudding’s 830, having seen off Frankie Phillips, Josh Sinclair and Re-open Nominations in the preceding rounds.
For Stapleton, however, this is as much a team effort as one man’s victory. Speaking to SCAN, Stapleton reiterated his thanks to those who had helped with his campaign. “Thanks to my campaign team in particular: Joe Stansfield for running my campaign; Michael Payne-McGlen, Daryll Griffiths for coming out in the cold with me every single day,” Stapleton said. “And without my girlfriend and current Cartmel President Laura Trotter I would never have even thought about going for it.”
Stapleton is particularly grateful to Stansfield, who helped spearhead his online campaign. “[The best aspect of my campaign] has got to be the Facebook campaign with all of the graphics and stuff,” Stapleton said. “One of my good friends, Joe Stansfield, did all that for me. He’s been my friend for the three years I’ve been here at university and he’s been amazing.
“I can’t thank him enough, I really can’t.”
Stapleton wants to hit the ground running as soon as he comes into office. “What I’m most looking forward to is getting started and getting stuck into what I perceive is going wrong with the University and the policies I ran on,” Stapleton said. “I just want to get stuck into what I – and the rest of the team – can do for everyone.”
Most of all, Stapleton has set his sights on improving LUSU Living, with a particular emphasis on tackling the 19 per cent rent premium currently placed on students who use the housing agency. “I’ve lived in LUSU Living before,” Stapleton told SCAN. “I didn’t realise I was actually paying a premium for the terrible service I was receiving.
“I’ve been talking to students who have been left without all kinds of amenities, and on top of that they’ve been paying a premium. We really need to either increase the quality of the accommodation or lower the prices.”