Sabbatical Debate Liveblog - 08/03/16

08/03/16 Reverse order Timestamp format


  1. Watch The Saint's live-stream of the Sabbatical candidate debate 08/03, due to start at 8pm - tune in for the editorial team's commentary beforehand!

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  2. Debate for DoSDA and DoES beginning, Taryn O'Connor (DoES) on the left, Caroline Christine (DoSDA) in the middle, Sina Dashtebozorgy (DoES) on the right



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  3. First Qn for Taryn: How to get bigger acts to Union?

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  4. Taryn: Bigger acts = bigger revenue, increase capacity of venues, use larger halls

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  5. Sina: will be setting up an app to allow for choosing apps, pre-purchasing tickets for apps, show to Union, and prove interest in event

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  6. Q for Caroline: which category of society help needed the most?

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  7. Caroline: improve training, societies run smoother, easier functioning

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  8. No reply from TO'C or SD

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  9. Q for TO'C: Byre notoriously difficult for students to work with. How would you work with this?

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  10. TO'C: Just So soc has worked well with Byre in past, proving Byre willing to work with students and good sign for future

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  11. SD: Instead of relocating events to other places, suggest using current venues

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  12. TO'C: thinks Byre good venue to use, though issues have been persent. Though lack of pricing plan is problem, willing to work to improve this

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  13. Q for Caroline: How would you work to improve experience for first years?

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  14. CC: proposal to make Freshers' Fayre smaller on separate days, easier to access different societies

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  15. SD: this is a good idea, is it not better to divide FFayre into individual societies throughout week

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  16. TO'C: support idea

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  17. Q for SD: proposal with Beacon Hour contravene Scottish licencing laws

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  18. SD: reads out quote re: law on cocktail/happy hours. concludes that his proposal does not contravene

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  19. TO'C supports this, allows to bring more people in, introduce o more experiences/societies. also ref: non-drinking hours to include others

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  20. Q for TO'C: how do you see role concerning permanent staff in Union?

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  21. TO'C: spoken with staff, great respect, unless you can convince and work with staff, real limit on what can achieve as DoES: important to create new, innovative ways

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  22. SD: will be working closely with bar staff, spoken to bar manager about Beacon hour idea, he supports

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  23. Q for CC: volunteering portal difficult to rule out. What is plan to work with this?

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  24. CC: explains Volunteering portal, roll out to subcoms, then societies, then uni as whole. Have to trial first

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  25. Candidates seem to be playing it safe at the moment: sticking to manifestos, not really arguing/debating with each other.

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  26. Don't seem to be targeting each other's policies at all

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  27. Q: What kind of events talking about? Which students to engage?

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  28. T: 72-hour drink deal to incentivise, utilise entire building, utilise societies, bring in their pown audiences, include as whole

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  29. No answers/rebuttals from other candidates

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  30. CC: What would you do if uni space occupied for commercial venture which would bring in more money?

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  31. CC:Ideally wouldn't have to make societies adjust for commercial ventures, would prioritise and would offer alternate venue

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  32. TO'C agrees

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  33. SD: what experience do you have organising big events re: Freshers?

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  34. SD: not answering question

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  35. Just ref his plans for FReshers

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  36. Jack Carr: The motion-sensitive light in the green room is turning off every few seconds so Charlotte Andrew and I are basically having to dance to keep it on.

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  37. DoRep candidate + President candidate having fun backstage!

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  38. Comment: Ellen W

    Loving the fact that every time Sina gets asked about his experience it turns into an answer about what he's going to do instead of what he has done.
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  39. CC: DoSDA and DoES work together closely, big emphasis on team work, worked with TO'C, never worked with SD, promotes honesty in working

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  40. TO'C agrees. CC and TO'C seem to have friendship/interacted w each other previously via On the Rocks and Just So

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  41. Q for SD: most acts prevent advertisement of name until cotnract signed

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  42. Would this make crowdfunding for acts legally difficult?

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  43. SD asks question to be repeated (buying time...?)

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  44. SD: will be contacting act beforehand, allow students to vote for most pref act... repeating his manifesto

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  45. TO'C has nothing to add

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  46. Candidates have 30 sec to round off 'debate'

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  47. TO'C offering thanks to everyone who has supported her, especially in working on events previously, will prioritise importance on YOUR experiences, wants to be helping at 2am and then 10am i.e. 24/7

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  48. CC: running bc grateful for everything gained from Union, wants to protect socs/subcoms, as DoSDA, will utilise/involve everyone and maximum efficiency

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  49. SD: wants to give power back to students, make Beacon Bar good place to be, revolutionise Union + way students use it (planning a revolution...?)

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  50. Comment: interstate15

    More a Q&A session than a debate
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  51. @interstate15, agreed!

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  52. Hopefully this debate will be more lively!

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  53. Left, Jack Carr (DoRep), Charlotte Andrew centre left (President), Annie Newman (President) centre right, Ben Peddie (AU Pres) right

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  54. Q for JC: education unit takes up most of DoRep's time. How would you ensure welfar does't get left behind?

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  55. JC: treat education+welfare taken together, prioritised equally, through Class reps and integration

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  56. CA nothing to add

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  57. AN: mental health policy with Student Services, wants to work with DoRep to improve this (would be 'awesome')

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  58. CA on mental health issue: wouldn't have any authority on mental health issue, could not work on would have to defer to JC as DoRep on this

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  59. No response from Ben!

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  60. Q: What role between student's association and uni as whole?

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  61. CA: disconnect between uni and students in as much as there is positive relationship, must be built upon, SA should be giving uni more awareness and breadth on students' activities and improve relations

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  62. AN: Uni needs SA just as much as SA needs Uni: contradicting controversial relationship suggested by CA

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  63. JC: must have prominent relationship, also strengthen, will use position and prev experience to build on this

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  64. Q: strategy for articulating position of SA to university and new University Principal?

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  65. AN: key meetings, already close relationship w Uni through role of REctor's Assessor on Court

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  66. CA: work less on court, instead acquaint principal with students better: big Q&A session with new principal, introduction

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  67. BP: supports close relationship of AU with newPrincipal

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  68. JC: entertained at what is essentially 'swap' with Oxford in Chancellor/Principal. Also support prev

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  69. JC, CA and AN have nothing to add on sport Qn for AU Ben!

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  70. JC: how would you succeed in answering emails within 24 hours?

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  71. JC: the Saint pulled me up on initial 48 hour policy as too long, now they pull me up again on 24 hour policy as unfeasible! (We aim to retain journalistic integrity...)

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  72. JC: apparently has somewhat masochistic tendencies and so will hopefully be able to fulfil email policy

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  73. CA: will help JC get some actual sleep hopefully

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  74. JC: DoRep being in so many meetings, will set aside actual office hours which hopefully will be utilised

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  75. CA: work on policy on financial efficacy in fee paying (re: currency change)

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  76. CA: wants to work hard to improve plight of students affecting from paying tuition fees when too high as currency fluctuates too high

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  77. AN: reference to International Hardship Fund, does not think university as business will accept sentimentality as reason to accept this policy

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  78. JC: offers another reason to accept CA's policy: league table criterion is dropout rates: decreased drop out rates increase rankings

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  79. CA: personally cares about every single person in university, sees no reason not to air those problems of students to university. Cue cheering

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  80. AN: that adversarial nature will alienate from University, to phrase in their interests will endear them

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  81. Presidential candidates are getting the blood pumping!

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  82. CA: will not adopt adversarial nature, but will phrase sensibly and rationally but also sentimentally

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  83. AN wants to respond but debate needs to move on

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  84. JC: can't have adversarial stance against University but can defend opinion/stance: whole point of class reps etc

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  85. AN: how are you going to incentivise private landlords?

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  86. AN: increase university accommodation and private uni accommodation to offer competition and incentivise to drop rates

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  87. CA: shared policy on AN, but also to tackle HMO bans. Review of this coming up in June, should tackle this then.

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  88. AN: tackling HMO ban worst thing can do. That review only in autumn: too far. Five year process, battle with Fife Council and too difficult to tackle

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  89. JC: generally Fife Council procedure to interact with community council: their feedback will impact this: get them on our side?

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  90. CA: emailed community council about this, (they're happy someone familiar is running for Assoc.Pres), again not proposing adversial, but approaching things differently, mutual interests

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  91. BP: how are you going to make St.A sport stand out?

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  92. BP: Saint Outreach Project lack of demand, but offers wide variety of life skills, should be marketed as more of an internship than a volunteering opportunity

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  93. CA does not want to input bc has been talking a lot

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  94. JC: what will you do to improve postgraduate positions/involvement esp considering 2 positions are vacant atm?

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  95. JC: academic convenor role for PG too extensive, move major role onto paid member of staff, and reallocate smaller easier to tackle role

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  96. CA: PG representation really important, important to publicise info on PG + PG roles/involvement

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  97. AN: wants to go to PGs themselves, like 1st year dinners have PG dinners, go to esp when cannot leave buildings

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  98. BP: PG involvement also limited cannot utilise wednesday pms for sport like UGs can, no suggestion yet but is considering

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  99. JC: wants to lobby Scottish Govt to allow same options for PG as in rest of UK

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  100. Comment: cew6991 1

    I think Charlotte is ahead. She seems to know what she's talking about.
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  101. Presidential Candidates seem to be struggling sticking to 30s time limits! Good news for their involvement

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  102. CA: wants to increase/improve student representation/interaction with other unis

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  103. Wants to reach out to other Sabbs at unis, confident unique in remaining stubborn, firm, persistent in pursuing this

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  104. AN: Scotland does not have Sabbs forum, but do have Rector. Apparently untapped resources at St.A itself, and Presidents before have always suggested CA's policy and never succeeded: remain within uni

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  105. BP wants to ensure that support also given to non-competitive clubs not just competitive

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  106. JC: how do you keep class sizes small esp with increasing student population?

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  107. JC: with increased staff members, class sizes can remain small, difficult to promote considering more money divertedbut when necessary must be supported to retain student teaching quality

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  108. CA: nothing to add

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  109. AN: from position/connections of Uni Court, in good position to work well/effectively on this with JC: make a good team

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  110. CA: how will you get voices heard/in power?

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  111. CA: issues important to self will talk about most, as Debates officer very good at arguing, wealth of experience in addressing older professionals

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  112. CA: on national level, does not think Rector in position to be utilised

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  113. AN: absolutely be students fighting for students' causes

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  114. AN: referring a lot to her experience on University Court

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  115. AN: how do you ensure Uni have info for bursary access?

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  116. AN: working with UCAS, conferred on this with Student Services, University: software available, but logistics still convoluted to work out, but almost at a solution

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  117. The Saint Online: Theres also a drinking game mentioned on YikYak to imbibe whenever Annie mentions her time on the Uni Court. Not advised for medical reasons

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  118. On YouTube Chat: suggestions for debate drinking games

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  119. interstate15: Take a shot every minute Ben doesn't speak

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  120. Lemar Amanwa: I think whoever is running the saint chat should be president

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  121. interstate15I feel like Ben is a candidate backed by a foreign government who are prepared for military action to have him installed (Good thing he has no competition!)

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  122. Wrapping up of Pres/DoRep/AU Pres debate: concluding speeches


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  123. JC suggests not voting for Ron, esp considering his history of crashing cars into trees

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  124. CA: personal involvement, state school background, requires passion, long standing record of continuous undeniable success in everything done... is she plucking at our heart strings?

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  125. CA receives raucous applause

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  126. AN: manifesto linking in with stories...? points: accommodation, widening access, new remits like mental health

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  127. AN also receives raucous applause

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  128. BP: student sport in St.A v important, not managed to cover all manifesto points in debate tonight, has expertise, experience and enthusiasm (the 3 E's!) to improve Saint Sport

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  129. End of Pres/DoRep/AU Pres debate

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  130. interstate15

    Early polls suggesting a surprising debate victory for BEN!
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  131. Tom weighs in: Tom Claridge

    Contrary to what Charlotte says, it is written in the University charter that you must be Rectors Assesor and have sacrificed a goat to the KK to become President.
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  132. The DoES/DoSDA debate was more of a Q&A, but the Pres/DoRep/AU Pres debate certainly livened up and got exciting! Keep updated with The Saint for more in depth analyses and information! Signing off, Tara Panicker with The Saint

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