Manifesto analysis: Duncan Downie, candidate for Association President


Duncan Downie (1)

Duncan’s policies centre around accommodation, drawing on his experience as Senior Student of Albany Park. He also wants to listen to students and make the presidency more accessible.

 Accommodation bursaries

Duncan’s manifesto says he wants to “increase accommodation bursaries”. This is something Freddie recently achieved and he would have to be persuasive to achieve a further increase from the University. Duncan says that even if he can’t secure an increase he will still ensure that the University sticks to the £43,000 that Freddie negotiated. He also says that there were insufficient applications for accommodation bursaries this year and he want to promote them better.

Open Surgeries

 Duncan wants to make it easier for students to approach the President. He plans to hold open surgeries in places like the Union bar and halls of residence where students would be more comfortable speaking to him. This is different from Freddie’s “open-door” policy which was based in his office.

 Improving private sector accommodation

 Duncan’s main tool for improving private sector accommodation would be the website Bubble Browse. He envisages increasing support and publicity for it.

 Making accommodation, and town life as a whole, more affordable

 Duncan concedes that negotiating a reduction in the cost of university accommodation may be difficult. However, he says he would look into reducing the disparity in the hall prices to a certain extent to help more people afford pricier University accommodation. This would be a step away from the model Freddie had supported which was to integrate all students into better quality, long-lasting halls and give a discount to less well-off students.


  1. Incredibly poor analysis by the saint of all candidates’ manifestos. Poorly thought out and shows how little insight the saint has into the workings of our union.


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