Manifesto analysis: Tola Akanbi-Onasanya, candidate for director of events and services

Photo: Maria Faciolince
Photo: Maria Faciolince
Photo: Maria Faciolince

Read our interview with Mr Akanbi-Onasanya here.

Adetola Akanbi-Onasanya is a candidate for director events and services, and his policies focus on managing the effect that the Union redevelopment will have on students, giving students more control over the Union, bringing bigger acts to St Andrews, and revamping ticketing during Freshers’ Week.

Mitigating the effect of Union redevelopment

Mr Akanbi-Onasanya has addressed the redevelopment in the very first section of his manifesto, saying that given space restraints the emphasis of first semester will be Freshers’ Week, though he did not specify any details. He also said that he would help find room for societies that have been pushed out of the top floor of the Union. His slogan directly relates to this: “Doing more with less”. To help accommodate those societies, he would encourage the University to make space available in the Medical Building seminar rooms and in the Gateway building.

He recognises the closing of Venue 1 in semester two is a blow to student life at the Union, and intends to speak with the town hall to find other, similarly sized spaces “so that we don’t miss out on the opportunity to have a night life befitting of university students, but also to display our talents through the performing arts, with musicals, concerts and plays.”

More control over the Union

Hoping to bring students closer to the Union, Mr Akanbi-Onasanya wants to open up online polling so that students can suggest and then vote on names for Venue 1 and Venue 2. Pointing out that “the Union is pretty much synonymous with the student body”, he believes that the students should be able to “choose the names of the places where you’ll be spending your afternoons, evenings and late nights”.

Bigger acts

To Mr Akanbi-Onasanya, bigger acts isn’t about getting the biggest acts, but bringing in “up and coming stars, people who are going to be huge in the next few years so we can embrace our inner hipster and say ‘yeah, we saw them before they got big.'” He also thinks that bringing in acts before they are at their most famous will help defray costs, and keep ticket prices low. He intends to work with the organisation Music is Love to bring in DJs and performers of all genres.

Freshers’ Week passes

In previous Freshers’ Weeks, Mr Akanbi-Onasanya has noticed that while an event is listed as sold out, often attendance doesn’t reflect that. He believes this can be blamed on Freshers’ passes, which, when purchased, give students access to multiple events across the whole week. Because the event is technically sold to capacity, students who might care about a particular event (rather than the purchaser of a Freshers’ pass, who might not be) can be shut out. To prevent this, he suggests lowering the number of events Freshers’ passes give you access to. He would also want to visit halls during Freshers’ Week so that he could help emphasise events and smooth the transition for first years.



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