Students' Association elections 2014: sabbatical debate
Welcome to the sabbatical debate for the 2014 Students' Associations elections. A debate will be held for each position, with each candidate giving an opening speech, followed by opportunity for Q&A and debate among the candidates.
The running order is as follows: president, DoRep, DoSDA, DoES, AU president.
Follow along with The Saint's liveblog and watch our live video stream above.
05/03/14 Reverse order Timestamp format
Welcome to The Saint's liveblog with Elliot Davies, Laura Abernethy and Chris Walker. The debate will begin shortly.
Tweet your questions with #saelect during the debate and we or the Union will do our best to ask them.
The room is filling up, with most of the tiered seating now taken. There are still a few seats at the back if you're planning to come along.
The debate is now beginning. The three presidential candidates have taken their places.
The first candidate to speak is Pat Mathewson.
Pat begins by emphasising: "What will you remember from your time in St Andrews?" He talks about the ice hockey team and his time as rector's assessor.
He feels he is best suited to the job because of his time as rector's assessor, in which role he sat on the University Court and SRC. He also chaired the rector's fund.
He is also the president of the Fellowship of St Andrews, directing the 600th Finale Ball, and says he is the only candidate who is an active member of an AU club.
Talking through his policies, he speaks about his plans for an alumni network and for improving housing in the town.
That's it for Pat (speeches are only two minutes long).
Noah Ohringer is next up. He wants to be president because "I care about you."
"Our University, if independence happens, loses £90m of funding overnight."
He wants to make sure St Andrews is "protected" from the effects of Scottish independence.
He also talks about accommodation. "As Association president I look to work with the SRC... to push landlords to maintain a higher standard... for their properties."
"It would be a shame if students went to live in Dundee and had to commute here. One of the things that makes us so special is that we all live here in close proximity."
His final policy is widening access. He has gone into Fife schools to promote the University. "Honestly, I think our image as a university needs rebranding."
"We have a lot of diversity to be proud of and I aim to make us even more proud."
Finally, David Patterson - who gets the loudest cheer.
David: "Thanks mum."
"I want to improve on three important areas. Accommodation, both university and private, accessibility, and finally redevelopment."
"You need someone who has concrete experience within the Association, and above that within the University." He's now speaking about his work as president of Mermaids.
"I also sat on the Students' Association executive committee... and on the St Andrews community council for the last year."
He also helped organise the Scott Lang Dinner and sat on the student drama advisory committee.
Briefly speaking about his policies, he talks about widening access.
The floor is now open to debate.
"We don't want anything too hostile" says Dan Palmer, the current DoES, who is chairing the debate tonight.
A question for Pat: "In a past and very public situation, you went behind the backs of fellow students to achieve your own ends, and went against [one of your] earlier commitments... Do you have the commitment and loyalty to run the Students' Association?"
Pat: "I fundamentally disagree with the premise."
They are discussing the Kate Kennedy Club / Fellowship split.
"To say that I haven't shown loyalty... is ridiculous."
He says he has worked for the good of the town.
David comments that it's important that people follow their passions. Noah declines to comment.
Next Q: "How do you see your role as president, as related to the other sabbatical roles?"
David: "The president must fundamentally represent all students."
He talks about his policy of working with the AU.
"As president, you can access the other three remits more broadly... At the end of the day, four heads are better than one."
Noah: "A lot of it comes down to being an effective team leader and making sure that people in power positions are doing their job."
"It's about getting to know more people, being friendly. Also with regards to the AU, this year transportation has been an issue... It's about communication."
Pat: "The president, because of the title, gets far more attention than they deserve. [The job] is a leader among equals. A president must be aware of how a team can fill the gaps [and work together]."
Next Q: "One element of the presidential remit is strategy and governance... How will you take on this part of your remit?"
Noah: "Planning and governance is very much a day to day issue. It's always changing. But it's also about sustainability... Redevelopment will be tough, but it's also going to provide opportunities for town and gown to come together... for more interaction between community and University."
Pat: "First of all, embrace whatever comes out of the governance review. Chloe's efforts to establish a long-term strategic plan are essential. Whichever of us gets in needs to continue that."
David: "You also have to look at the internal workings of the Students' Association." He talks about subcommittees and ensuring they have the flexibility and opportunity to be the best they can.
"Strategic planning in the long term is vital... The 13 points that came out of the governance review I'm looking forward to implementing."
Noah: "I'm working as the IR president this year... [And I know how crucial the handover is.]"
Q: "The Saint recently ran a poll that found the no. 1 issue affecting students is housing... There is too little competition in the housing market to incentivise landlords... What will you do as president to alleviate this housing crisis?"
David: "In the first instance we can tackle quality. [We should equip students with the skills] to tackle that. Landlords find that every 4 years there is a new crop of students who [don't know all the rules and legalese]. We can have proper workshops and legal advice, and use the Association's accommodation advocate a lot more. [We can] give students the skills and advice to get a fair deal."
"In terms of demand... we have to make sure the [new halls of residence] meet the standard. But the real issue is improving the standard of housing here... which we can do through collective action.]"
Noah: "It's a perennial problem. But one thing we can do is actively oppose [the HMO ban]. It mainly comes down to working with Fife Council... And as for working with private landlords, we can encourage them to raise their standards."
"One thing I would like to do is establish a database for students who are going abroad, to help them find accommodation... But there's only so much we can do."
Pat: "[Housing in St Andrews] is fundamentally an economic problem. Unless you increase the amount of housing... Nothing is going to change. From day one I will address these private builders that swarm all over St Andrews."
He would press private builders to accept wardennial structures for new halls of residence. He would do this by working with Fife Council and says this is feasible within a year.
David: "The Council's green plan prohibits the building of new accommodation anywhere near St Andrews... Further, we can tap the expertise within the University... We can use the Centre for Housing Research and the survey they carried out [to find] innovate solutions to our housing problems."
Pat: "David is incorrect here. The community council has opposed new buildings but it's Fife Council that [has the final say]. That's an irrelevant point."
David: "If you look at the green agreement you'll see the facts for yourself."
Next Q: "Do you have any plans to develop the SRC's living wage motion? [More generally] how would you respond if the University and the Union's interests [came into conflict]?"
Pat: "We have to be careful and ensure [students and others currently working in the Union] don't lose their jobs... I would work for students, not the Union management."
David: "It's a noble ideal and something we should pursue... This also ties into the housing point - people need an affordable wage to afford [accommodation] here. The thing with the Union management is that you have to have some experience with the Union to understand how it works, to understand how to work with the management. It's important that when conflicts do arise we [find constructive solutions]."
Noah: "[The living wage] is a step in the right direction. In terms of University management... both parties [need to] get along diplomatically."
Q: "Can you tell us about why you came to St Andrews?"
Noah: "It's a wonderful university, it's such a diverse place. The opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds... It's the ideal student town. It doesn't get much better than this."
David: "It's the best university in Scotland. I am Scottish [so] I came here. It has the highest student satisfaction rating than the rest of the UK. We're so lucky that we get to share in a very small community... It was a chance to move away from home and have a wonderful experience."
Pat: "It's the only place I ever applied for university and the only place I ever wanted to go. I'd never travelled to Europe before [I came here]. I knew I wanted to go 2 or 3 years before I even applied. I applied the minute applications opened. I could't be happier. It was the best decision I ever made. I truly love the place."
Q: "Why do you recognise that St Andrews has a real problem with widening access... Can everyone describe their policy on WA?"
Pat: "You can bring students here and show them how lovely St Andrews is but if they can't afford it that doesn't matter. It's the hidden costs of coming to university... It's accommodation."
"Additionally, if you look at my policy of building a Union-centric alumni policy... this will [help with] bursaries. More students will have the opportunity to come here."
David: "We're running to be Association president, we're not running to be God. If we can get students coming here [from poorer areas] the University will [improve its efforts]. The students in these areas are good enough to be here. We have to make sure we're doing everything to bring them here. We have to work with the University, to lobby them."
Noah: "The bottom line is that our university needs more money [to] create more opportunities, to make sure students [from poorer areas] are looked after. There are also a lot of people who don't want to come here. I wonder what the reasons are... I think a lot of it comes from our current image... It's about changing the image of our university, and that's a challenge. A lot of it is the University's bad PR, which is our fault as students. As president I would advocate for students to make better decisions [e.g. about making champagning videos]."
Pat: "We need to make sure we look beyond Scotland."
Noah: "Those students can afford to come here."
Pat: "I came here on a scholarship. I know many students that did. It's not true that students around the world can afford to come here."
David: "St Andrews is a Scottish university. Individuals in St Andrews do a fantastic job to make this town a wonderful place. [Students who come here] would jump at the chance to come here [if we showcased it better]. It's the 3/3/3 split [of Scottish / RUK / other students] that makes us who we are."
Last Q: "What experience do you have in representing students?"
Noah: "I give tours on Wednesdays to prospective students... I represent all students [that way]. This is something I do really care about, to give a good image of St Andrews."
Pat: "I've represented students across a wide variety of areas... On the SRC [as rector's assessor], on the University Court at the highest levels of this University... This is something I care deeply about."
David: "I was a class rep for two years in modern history and then Latin. I handled basic day to day issues. Also I sat on the community council championing waste issues... I was also [head of Mermaids] last year... I also had the privilege to represent St Andrews in the Lord Mayor's Procession [in London]."
The candidates will now give closing statements.
Pat thanks Noah and David. He says it has been "unlike any race we've seen in my time at least".
Noah [standing up]: "Thanks again for coming tonight". He thanks the other candidates. "I would encourage you all to read our manifestos, weigh up our policies... and contribute to student democracy."
David thanks the others. "This race is about experience... the right experience for the job... working day to day for students. I believe I [have that]." He encourages everyone to vote.
The next debate will be between Ondrej Hajda and Ali West, the candidates for director of representation.
The DoReps are up now. Ondrej is speaking first.
He talks about his experience as SRC education officer, including his library survey.
His first policy is on study spaces. His second is student welfare, including advising students on how better to work and relax. His third is equal opportunities - getting more people involved in the Union. Fourth, he will focus on student volunteers.
He wants better handover periods for all Union positions and also more recognition for students' extra-curricular activities.
Ali is speaking now. "This has been the cuddliest campaign I've ever been part of in St Andrews."
She discusses the role of DoRep - wellfare, democracy and education - and says she would like to focus on communication ("We need a more open and transparent Union") which would include a "sabbatical information campaign" in Freshers' Week.
In terms of education, she is also keen to improve study space and would look at opening up school classrooms for use during exams. She also wants to focus on student welfare, especially Reading Week. She says she can't promise the return of RW but promises she won't let up about it.
She would also press the University to release exam timetables earlier.
On welfare, she wants to concentrate on mental health.
Q: "As DoRep you line-manage five subcommittees. How would you [handle this management]?"
Ali: "I would [ensure] committees don't clash in their remits."
Ondrej: "Subcommittee officers are elected with certain priorities. As their manager I would encourage them as much as possible to go with these. I also have some things I would like to work with them on."
Ondrej: "Let's have focus groups and working groups between the subcommittees. Let's bring more people into the discussion. If the discussion is informal you can come up with new ideas."
Ali: "I think I misunderstand, but I don't see how more groups would serve to streamline [matters]."
Ondrej: "We would [bring in] people not involved in the Union [like the ambassadors] to give us a better idea of what to focus on."
Ali: "I don't understand. Wouldn't the heads of the subcommittees [just talk to each other]?"
Ondrej: "[My idea would bring] more innovation."
Q: "As DoRep you would oversee the LGBT subcommittee. Do you have any plans to encourage more LGBT applications and to make the University more trans* friendly?"
Ondrej: "Stonewall [ranks] universities based on their LGBT score. We could [try to] improve St Andrews' ranking within this league table. It's about working with the LGBT subcommittee. We could survey the student population and find out how many LGBT people are here in St Andrews."
Ali: "I think the LGBT subcommittee is unique in that it is [about] representation. It needs support in this respect. It's a forum for people looking for support. I would like to see more involvement from the sabbatical officers [and] more communication with other subcommittees."
Q from Twitter: "Do you think the Reading Week decision should be made by student referendum?"
Ali: "It's an interesting idea. What the DoRep does is communicate student concerns to the University. Even if we had a referendum we could present that to the University but [we couldn't] unilaterally make that decision. It would be an interesting way to make that point [but] there are other things to try first."
Ondrej: "I don't know about a referendum but it would be interesting to survey students next year [three years after the loss of RW]. One suggestion is we could have a deadline-less week. We could survey students [about this]. There should be more student representation than just the DoRep."
Ali: "I don't think a survey is necessary. As a university, we do have a very short institutional memory. We turn over the student body every four years. We need very strong advocacy at University level. If it doesn't happen this coming year we need [it to factor in] when the University next sets its calendar."
Ondrej: "One of my ideas is a survey of [what] students expect out of the University. I see a place for RW to be discussed as part of this."
Ondrej: "We need a plan that will be carried over for the next five years."
Q: "Every year we hear about [the importance] of the sabbatical teams. But every year we also hear from student publications that students still don't know what you're here for... What do you plan to do to bring students' focus to what you're here for?"
Ondrej: "Students here like the feeling that Mermaids, Charities [etc] are an integral part of society. I would like to see proper training for these volunteers to let them know that they are part of the Union."
Ali: "It falls under communication. One of the most important things we can do is work with the other sabbatical officers to put together an information campaign, probably a video based one, and go into halls, go to hall events... Most of all I would work to publicise the SRC open forum."
Ali: "I've sat on the SRC for two years... In those two years I don't think I remember a single person turning up to use the open forum. It's in massive need of a huge publicity push."
Ondrej: "Max [current Association chair] publicised the open forum a lot, but there just wasn't a lot of interest."
Ali: "You need to [go into halls] early in the first semester. Finding an outlet for [first years' keenness] is best done through halls."
Q: "The DoRep's role is split into welfare and equal opportunities... In the past [it has been] very academic-heavy. Is this right? If not, how would you reorganise it?"
Ali: "I think they shouldn't be seen as split. They are two sides of the same coin. To that end I would like to see more integration of what the Union (SRC and SSC) and what the school presidents do."
Ali: "The DoRep needs to see themselves as advocating for students in the University."
Ondrej: "Ali mentioned that she would like to see the school president system strengthened. I would like to see [more focus on the] equal opportunities and wellbeing subcommittees. I would look at adding a new sabbatical officer to cover these two areas. If you look at the sabbatical positions now, every year they take on more and more opportunities. We have the opportunity to talk to the University and say 'There is so much we want to do, we would appreciate a new sabbatical officer to focus on these things.'"
Ali asks if we could afford a new sabb.
Ondrej: "We can start the dialogue."
Ali: "How would you work within the existing framework to organise the role?"
Ondrej replies that he would work with the subcommittees and school presidents, and increase training.
Q: "Both of you mentioned study space. How do you propose splitting [school space] between academics and student activities?"
Ondrej: "We should focus on the libraries. Then, talking about societies, the arts building [etc] are not necessarily used... We wouldn't clash there."
Ali: "There has to be a balance. This is primarily under the remit of the DoSDA and DoES but study space has to be the priority here. I am confident that the DoRep can work with the DoSDA and DoES to ensure the needs of students are met."
Closing statements now.
Ondrej: "I hope I've proved that I have the most experience [for the job]. I have so many ideas and I would love to carry them forward. I know how to bring them forward, I know how it needs to be done."
Ali: "I think I have an innovate set of policies that focus more on the needs of students on a wider scale. Those are skills that are necessary for a DoRep. I am also experienced. I have sat on the Association councils for two years running."
DoES and DoSDA candidates are up next.
Fay: "I'm going to prove to you that I am the best person for the job. I have the experience. In my third year I was the social convenor for Mermaids...I learnt how to run an event and I can support those who want to do it. This year I am the SRC member for disabilities... I've started working on an inclusive learning policy with Teddy. I also ran the question time with debates. My policies are split into the name. The F stands for furthering student development. I want to expand the careers conference.... The A stands for approachability... I want to have an active Facebook presence, open door policy.... The Y stands for YourUnion redevelopment. I want to work with the University and the halls."
Tola: On my first year I was on the committee of DRA... In my second year I was the social convenor for the Ultimate hall. I currently do my own radio show... I am running for DoES and there are four candidates that's because the Union is going to be a blank state... I'd like to spend the handover sitting down and booking acts... I want to see more live music in Venue 1 and the new bar spaces. Live music is what tends to bring out the highest capacity to the Union.... A big concern is where we're going to have the SRC meetings and the SSC and there are areas around town... but we are going to lose a lot of space in terms of venue. This afternoon I spoke with the manager of the Vic and they offered us space for second semester.
Lewis: "Eventful That is what I want the year to be... Bigger and better acts in our Union. Collaborate with other universities... Collaboration is also important with university societies... The best nights have been in collaboration with societies. More of what works and less of what doesn't... We can look to places in town. I want to draw up a database of places that have been used before by other students. I want to lobby the University to use buchanan lecture theatre and classrooms after 5pm.... We're going to have four news spaces in semester 1.... One of the things that makes Dundee Union work is that it has 5 floors with a variety of different things and that is something I would like to see here... I've put on a number of shows, I was On the Rocks community relation officer.... I've also hosted my own radio show."
Campbell: I have the most experience in the Union... I've done every single type of event... I know what works and I know what doesn't... As a member of the ents crew I know how the Union works behind the scenes so I can hit the ground running... I've been working as Freshers' Week coordinator for the past two years... Those two have been the most successful ever... I have experience of collaborating with other Unions... I don't just want our Freshers' Week to be amazing. I want them to be amazing all the way through... I want to bring back 72 hour drink deals... I want to continue Dan's policy of rotating events... I'd like to improve how we advertise in the Union. I want to get people into the Union.... We need to prioritise Union space because it is a lot cheaper for us."
Leon: "I think I am the most experienced and skilled... I think mine is the most widespread. What has not been discussed so far is looking at the bar situation... In terms of being commercially aware... I have been working at the Rule... I've learnt where the money i coming in... None of the other candidates know where money comes from in a bar scenario.... Obviously I can't say I have the same events experience within the Union but I have hosted more events within the Union than anyone else... If we're looking at being able to create your own event, I am the only one who has created their own event. I created Bubble Bath, the comedy panel show... All our policies overlap in part. We all want to bring in bigger acts but we all have our own little ideas."
Time for questions!
Q: Could we get a firm commitment to go to every subcommittee?
Fay: I don't want to promise anything but if I'm not communicating with subcommittees then I'm not doing my job...
Leon: In my second and third year I was a member of Music is Love... Obviosuly I would work with ents as well. That is really exciting... In terms in managing them as a group, they each have their own heads... I would like them to have free reign.
Campbell: Music is Love is one of our great money spinners... We need to get more live acts into the Union... Things like open mic nights or acoustic nights would be great to work with MiL on... We're meant to oversee but we're not meant to dictate on every single point... Working with ents for so long, I know what it's like to liase with lots of different groups.
Lewis: Also really excited to work with Star... pushing forward with things like video. Charities as well are great.... In terms of helping people out, I'd like to meet up regularly and chat and really get to the core of what people want to do.
Tola: I'd like to sit in on meetings... I'd work with the heads and talk to them and see what they need... I don't want to micromanage as each one has been working well... I'd like to take a step back... I want to work with MiL because I think they can bring so much to the Union.... The design them is quite good as with the new Union, we have the chance to rebrand ourselves.
Fay: Don't choose one subcommittee over another... The amount the subcommittees do on their own... they need the support. Make sure the communication is always growing... Everyone needs that support.
Q: How do you plan to support RAG week without Venue 1?
Leon: Some of the bigger acts from RAG week could go into Venue 1... The idea of lobbying space with other University areas, like the town hall... Having a lot of bar experience, I know how to run an event in a bar.
Lewis: I spoke to George about this earlier in the week... I think we should move some of the bigger events to semester 1... But also look to the new spaces... I think we can look to Trinity Church hall or Younger hall.
Campbell: I'm really glad that the other candidates agree with some of my proposals... I want to make sure that any events we do move are heavily grounded so people know that this is just a result of redevelopment... Using the bar space ... If we start looking to other venues, it is going to increase their overheads.
Tola: I don't agree with moving the events to semester 1. It has lots of events... May bring more stress to the ents crew to put on events... I particularly think that younger hall is where to look... I would work with the DoSDA to lobby the University to make it cheaper and to Victory Memorial hall.
Fay: I am in favour of moving the events into semester 1... the events have an atmosphere in that venue and I think we should keep them there... Dragwalk was brought in this year and we should bring in more events.
Campbell: Tola, you say moving a few events will overstress the ents crew. We have done a lot with few members, a few events won't make a difference... Suggesting younger hall which has high costs will cut money to charity.
Tola: I understand what you are saying. I don't doubt that the ents could cope with work load. I think people might not go to these events.
Leon: Obviously, trying not to put too many events in semester 1 but over two weeks, there's all the events of refreshers and all the events in RAG week... I don't think it's too much to move it to the end of the semester.
Tola: I think we'll have more events... With the new Union there are so many more possibilities.
Q: This role with managerial, how do you plan to commit to staying organised when managing acts and booking space and managing all these things at once?
Campbell: "With my four year in the ents, we have to deal with several societies at a time... So we have to be able to mange lots of different areas... I think I can use my experience there."
Lewis: On the Rocks, you deal with multiple societies... With shows, have to be fairly organised... I put reminders on my phone.
Tola: "You learn a lot from the person before... You don't want to have too much to do."
Leon: "In my second year I was one of the senior students of DRA... I had to book buses, the acts, the bands that were playing... You see how to deal with different kinds of staff."
Q: How you see your role with the SSC? What do you see the appropriate relationship between SSC and subcommittees?
Fay: In SSC, I think it is important that you are there, you have spent the summer learning this job and how to get amendments... Being on the SRC that is what I really see... Being unbiased is really important... The second part- the SSC is composed of subcommittees, I guess talk to each other. They are all running huge individual things. A collaboration of lots of creative idea.
Lewis: I think to advise and help subcommittees... develop personal ties... produce a good working relationship.
Tola: It's quite a complex question... it's important to be approachable... You want to make sure all the rules are followed... You need to make sure you take on all responsibilities and sit on as many meetings as you can.
Campbell: It's important that all the subcommittees understand that we need to pull together with redev.. We need to keep the quality of events.
Q: Ideas for new events to keep things fresh?
Tola: I'd like to work with MiL... You don't see that much live music from students themselves... There's not enough emphasis on musicians in St Andrew performing.
Campbell: I feel like I would go to the relevant convenors and see what they wanted to do... We need to hear what ideas have because they know more about their events than I do... I really think we can improve the Bop and improve rewind and I think that is really important than branching out into new areas.
Lewis: Collaboration is important but I would like to see live music from students themselves... Working with the AU and psorts club... Doing news things in the new Union spaces... You could potentially have after parties of games at the same time as other things in the Union.
Leon: Obviously, I agree with Tola about new music, being a live musician... I'm running on variety of events. I'd like to see karaoke in venue 2... I'd like to see more people do what I did and come up with their own ideas.
Q: What are you planning to do with development next year?
Fay: CAPOD was only brought in as it is now about three years ago... They are really keen to work with us to make it what it could be... They know their weaknesses and they know they've got more to do and I want to collaborate with them to market it better... Societies training has been unsuccessful with CAPOD in the past but I'd like to trial their ideas... Societies training is important to development.
Q: What would you think would be the strongest policy that you would like to push through with societies next year?
Fay: I cam to one of the meetings... It is running much more efficiency... There are lots of projects that get started and then abandoned quickly.... I'd like to talk to you about a way to work out a way to stop these projects getting abandoned.
Q: What do you think is the biggest threat to the commercial side?
Leon: The biggest threat is a lack of publicity... We are unable to sell out of tickets is due to word not being out... It has been hard for Dan because of the building site but in the future when it's much prettier it will be easier to draw people in.
Campbell: I agree with Leon. We need to improve our advertising. We need to get our events out there... If an event is not well attended it tends to feel like a worse event for the customer... I want to advertise all our events as strongly as possible... Make sure we can get poster space back... The only billboards we have are inside the Union... We can really use the new space we have to advertise what is the Union.
Lewis: I think the reputation is potentially most damaging... part of that is putting on good events... Making sure redevelopment is an exciting time for everyone and we're doing what students want.
Tola: Advertising and also image... The Union has an image that it isn't the best thing to be on a Friday or Saturday night... Especially people coming in first year... It is important to change the image of the Union.
Fay: I would like people to vote... If you've seen my video. I am jsut going to do a snippet from it.
Tola: There are four candidates so read up the manifestos... before you make a decision. The important thing is everyone votes.
Lewis: I think I am the candidate that has the best ideas, the plan of how to make it work and can pull it off.
Campbell: Considering redev is going to be such a challenging time for us, we need someone who has experience in the Union... I am that candidate with 1000 hours in the Union.
Leon: I have experience of events and commercial experience...
AU president up now!
Jeremy: It is my dream to be AU president... I have three main policies... accessibility, development...
Jeremy: One of the clubs I'e met with was ice skating.. They struggle with getting members to attend every Wednesday because their training in Dundee... I thought about having an event after training... I really want to help clubs develop where they want to go.
Cathy: I've been involved in various sports. Most actively involved in triathlon.. It has been the highlight of my time.... Inclusivity, transparency and accessibility.. The main thing I want to do would be an equal opportunities fund for students to apply for if they need financial support... I want to have this find available to support them with things that aren't currently funded. I want to make the AU as transparent as possible... At the moment I think it's complicated for clubs to understand... I think clubs would be more content if they understood the reasoning behind it... Lastly I want to make it accessibility... I want to go round halls and speak to freshers. Experience wise, I have been development officer for triathlon...
Sarah: Currently the President of womens rugby club.... I've had a good insight into problems faced by smaller clubs.... Set up a volunteering opportunity in South Africa... promoting development through sport. This has given me a really good understanding of how things work... I already have the working relationships set up... In terms of policies, I am focusing on collaboration, communication and development... furthering the club captains forum and also to work more closely with Students' Association... I'd like to work together to give all round experience. In terms of communication, I'd like to hold open office hours... I also want to publicise sporting events a lot more.. In terms of development, I want to work with development office and AU and set up alumni network.
Andrew: Current president of the boat club... I think these roles have given me the necessary skills in leadership, organisation and administration... I've developed strong working relationship with development office and AU... I've based my manifesto on five policies- budget transparency, alumni relations policy (database that any club can access), academic flexibility (standardised approach by AU for those competing, reestablish dialogue with Proctor about Wednesday, students forum (student wide survey so students can get back to me about ideas), widening access policy.
Q: Your views on the paid internships in the AU?
Andrew: I think it's a good move... it brings more accountability to the AU exec...the downside to it, there may be the sense that they only have to do the work that they are being paid for... I think it is the right thing to do to reward work exec does.
Sarah: I think it has been largely positive... It has also opened it up to a lot more students.. before it was a popularity contest... Hopefully in the coming years there will be more competition.
Cathy: It has polarised a lot of the sports club... I think it has been a positive change... You have a panel of people that you know what they are talking about... On the other side, students feel like they have lost a say in this... I think we need to involve students more.
Jeremy: The positions we have are different to what we have on the Students' Association... These are positions that are a lot of work with individual clubs... A lot of what we're doing is paperwork. It's underground roles.
Q: Alumni relations?
Sarah: There are different demographics... It has been really interesting to find out people who have set up clubs... You can't apply a one size fits all policy so working with clubs to find out what they need.
Cathy: I think individual clubs having individual relations... Some clubs don't have numbers to have that support... I want to present my equal opportunities fund, as a way they can help clubs.
Jeremy: The bigger the club you are, the more alumni you have... We should reach out to them for small amounts.
Andrew: My policy is just a database that all clubs can access as each club will approach alumni differently...
Jeremy: My policy with this database is not just to help individual but all past alumni.
Q: How will candidates support social players that don't want to compete?
Cathy: I'm really passionate that everyone should have the opportunity to be involved in sport...
Jeremy: We could bring yoga to the Union to get more students involved.
Andrew: The more funding we get the more able we are to foster recreational sport... My policy of widening access aims to get more people involved in sport...
Sarah: I think it's key that we support all aspects of student sport... I think we should give everyone the opportunity to take part in sport. I want to work closely with the Students' Association so you can just take part in sport socially...
Q: The training provided from the AU isn't up to par. what would you do to improve it?
Cathy: Union offer training to societies members.. It's also about making AU seem approachable... It comes down to better communication...
Sarah: I've spoken to clubs this week about training that was run by CAPOD and they felt that the training was too much.. We need to establish a common ground...
Andrew: I agree with Sarah. The club excellence programmes are excellent.... Also it is down to the AU to make the resources available.
Andrew: healthy food programmes for athletes...It will get people involved in the Associaiton who aren't interested in sports already... It's also a way for people who aren't involved to know what sports we have on offer.
Q: How are you going to go about developing existing relationships?
Cathy: East Sands swimming pool has been closed. Triathlon and swimming club swim together... Things like that can be really helpful... I'd like to see clubs work together to share space and room time.
Jeremy: A database of people who pass AU drivers test so if there is a club that doesn't have any drivers, they can contact... If someone is coming u to an important club, one can give up field space that week...
Andrew: Boat club and canoe club have similar transport needs... Making use of each others drivers... Collaborating. I would like to go and meet clubs and understand where their needs are.
Sarah: through the club captains forum, get them working together. That will filter down through clubs and be useful... Publicity of events. People don't really know what is going on... Smaller teams working together in fitness suites... Once you start fostering these links, they are going to grow.
Jeremy: I really want to help clubs in need specific areas.
Cathy: I'm really passionate about student sport and I think my policies can make a big difference... I think I have the skill and experience.
Sarah: I have experience... I have a good understanding of how things work. They are simply policies that can be implemented and really make a difference.
Andrew: The experience I have from last three years of being on a club committee is invaluable... We need to develop more students into more sport.
That's it for today. Voting is now open. Make sure to read about the candidates on our website and then cast your vote. The Saint election issue will be out tomorrow! We'll see you on Friday for the results.