Interview with Luke Donlan, Fylde JCR Presidential Candidate – Michaelmas Term Elections 2023


Caitlyn Taft from SCAN interviewed Fylde JCR Presidential Candidate, Luke Donlan, on why he is running for Fylde JCR President.

Over the past few days, I have interviewed various JCR Presidential candidates across campus. I asked them all nine questions, two tailored towards their personal lives and previous work on the JCR.

  1. What are your reasons for running for Fylde president?

Unlike other candidates I’ve interviewed this week, Luke is the current Fylde JCR President. Meaning his manifesto bleeds into the work he is currently doing.

“I’ve been on the JCR since my first year. My entire uni experience has been Fylde-centric. I’m re-running for President because I enjoy being a part of the community. I’m able to provide new opportunities and events. I love working in a team and I love helping people.”

2. What are the main points of your manifesto that you would like to emphasise?

As I mentioned, many points on Luke’s manifesto are things he is already tackling such as improving engagement and ensuring his team are comfortable in their new roles.

“My manifesto focuses on the smaller points, like trying to improve engagement. But also, on points like including more merchandise as people have been asking for newer merch like for the sports teams. I’m confident this can be attained. I also have been hosting big university events like the Mental Health Day event which was massively successful. To have events be this successful, I want to increase our social media presence and have strong brand awareness.”

3. What sets you apart from the other candidates?

Luke revealed that outside of working on Fylde’s JCR, he does a lot of work with the Students’ Union.

“I have a lot of experience with managing and being in charge of people and events. I’m helping to organise the Christmas Markets on campus. Doing events like these has helped me gain a lot of transferable skills.”

4. What would your priorities be if you won the election? Alternatively, what would be your first priority?

Luke’s plans and priorities for next term are aligned with how the college is going currently.

“I want to continue how we are. I’m very proud of what we’ve done this year so far. We have some great things planned for next term. I’m excited to train the new JCR members and get them familiar with their roles.”

5. What do you want to change about your current JCR?

Regarding the issue of engagement and merchandise, Luke said:

“I want merch to be changed. It’s a nice additional thing for students to have and we don’t have a lot of merch currently. Also, brainstorming different ways to improve engagement like brand consistency and advertising other events well in advance.”

6. Can you tell me a bit about your college and are there any parts of it (social events, welfare talks, group/JCR activities, etc) you are wanting to continue with/ develop on? 

Luke told me that Fylde is known for their bar, The Mill, and their sporty attitude.

“I want to drive up sports, as Fylde is known for that. I love my college and the communal spaces, and welfare events. We’re currently doing Welfare events with arts and crafts which have been very successful.”

7. As you’re currently President of Fylde, what do you intend to do differently if you win the election?

Similarly to other answers he gave, Luke continued to talk about the progression of work he has done since he became Fylde’s JCR President.

“I’m very proud of the steps I’ve done so far, especially regarding the social media and welfare events. Over the summer, I went to America to do work so for a bit I was an international student. It’s so important for international events to be present across the college. Also, I want to drive up the vacant roles in the JCR.”

8. You’ve previously been VP Welfare for Fylde JCR, what experience did you gain from being in that role that has impacted your time as the JCR’s President?

Reminiscing on his previous role in the JCR, Luke thanked the previous President who helped train him.

“I was fortunate that Nick [Popescu] trained me. Since becoming President, I’ve able to run bigger events, given my experience in event planning. Whilst being VP Welfare, I was, and still am, very passionate about it. I want free contraceptives, free pregnancy tests, and free sanitary products available for Fylde students.”

9. What’s your college slogan/saying/song and what does it mean to you?

Finally, Luke told me that Fylde’s official slogan is ‘Wylde for Fylde’.

“I think it works really well. We also say ‘Up the Mill’ for sporting events. But the idea of being wild for Fylde, being so passionate for this college is great.”

Voting for JCR Presidents opens today. Check out the SU website to vote for your college JCR members this year.

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