There are over sixty positions to vote for in the Students’ Association elections which are broken up into three categories: Sabbaticals, SRC and SSC officers and academic representatives. Whether you intend to vote in this year’s elections or are considering running for a position in the future, it is a good idea to inform yourself on who represents you within St Andrews’ Student Union and whether or not they are sufficiently fulfilling their role. In this election issue, The Saint provides a comprehensive guide of the roles occupied by those who we, as students, have the chance to vote for as a means of bettering our University experience.
Sabbaticals are full-time paid roles divided into six positions, association president, director of wellbeing, director of education, director of events and services, director of student development and activities, and Athletic Union president. In order to represent the Student’s Union as a sabbatical officer, these candidates will require dedication, leadership skills and a commitment to student democracy and representation.
The Association president is the public face and voice of the Students’Association and student body. They are responsible for external relations of the organisation and will participate in the decisions that will shape the future of the University Court and the Students’ Association. The Association president will be expected to tackle larger issues that may affect students such as tuition fees changes and Brexit, as well as dealing with environmental issues, affordability and availability of accommodation, and widening access and participation.
The DoEd will lead and contribute to policy within the University and Students’ Association, and is the main point of contact for several University service units such as the University’s Academic Community and the Proctor’s Office. Their responsibilities include education, postgraduate study and employability. This position also includes being a student governor on the University Court.
Responsible for the representation of welfare, equal opportunities and democracy is the DoWell. This position is the main point of contact for University service units including Human Resources and Student Services. Some of the specific duties of the DoWell include supporting, leading and advising student representatives including the LGBTQ+ officer, equal opportunities officer, member for mental health awareness, member for racial equality, member for age equality, member for gender equality and post-graduate development officer. The DoWell also supports endeavours to promote safety during University traditions such as Raisin and May Dip.
The DoES is expected to play a key role in working with student groups and senior staff of the Association to provide memorable events and high-quality commercial services. The DoES will have overall responsibility for the organisation of events and entertainment, including Graduation Ball, whilst also taking responsibility for booking Association venues.
Providing leadership and support for Association clubs and societies, music and theatre groups, debating team, voluntary service, Charities Campaign and countless other student activities will be the DoSDA. Overseeing funding for selected projects and working with other student officers, student groups and senior staff of the Association to enhance the range of student activity available to St Andrews students, the DoSDA will also work with the DoES to plan and organise activities such as the Societies’ Fayre and the Societies’ Refreshers Fayre. The DoSDA must also make sure that societies, groups and sub-committees are aware of and fulfill their legal responsibilities.
The Athletic Union president is responsible for the development of sporting opportunities and will represent the interests of the AU to the University and other University bodies. The AU president will also represent the University externally in BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) and SSS (Scottish Student Sport) forums. This role awards the responsibility of the strategy and development of the AU, including volunteering, alumni relations, participation and publicity.
Association Officers sit on both the SRC (Students Representatives Council) and the SSC (Students Services Council). Positions under this category include Association chair — acting as an impartial advisor to all elected officers and members of councils as well as the general student body — alumni officer, environment officer, LGBT+ officer, community relations officer and lifelong and flexible learners officer. SRC Officers are elected positions on the SRC such as accommodation officer, member for first years and member for racial equality. SSC Officers are comprised of elected positions on the SSC which include charities officer, debates officer and postgraduate officer.
Academic representatives include positions such as school presidents and Modern Language convenors. School presidents have the responsibility of representing undergraduate and post-graduate students within their school or department and improving communications among students and staff. Modern Languages convenors should act as the link between students and staff in their respective departments within the School of Modern Languages. They are also responsible for coordinating activities with the Modern Languages School president, who represents the School as a whole to the University and the Students’ Association.