Chloe is running on a number of policies that have not featured in her competitors’ manifestos, in particular the union-run letting agency and the Scottish Sabbaticals Forum.
Union-run letting agency
Chloe aims to alleviate the problems students in St Andrews face trying to find private accommodation by establishing a union-run letting agency. This could turn out to be a major operation requiring staffing, resources and expertise, including ensuring the accommodation meets appropriate standards. She says the University’s Residential Business Services think her proposals are feasible and that it won’t cost much to set up. Her confidence is based on the agencies by other universities, such as Birmingham, Cardiff and Queen’s University Belfast.
Scottish Sabbaticals Forum
Chloe would like to create a forum bringing together the sabbaticals from Scottish universities. However, the last similar attempt — Coalition of Higher Education Students in Scotland (CHESS)—was short-lived. Patrick O’Hare’s attempts to revive the idea also failed. Chloe says she has already spoken to other Scottish sabbaticals about her proposal.She says joining with Aberdeen, Edinburgh and other universities similar to St Andrews would make campaigning on issues of shared interest more effective. Chloe says her efforts will be different because the previous attempts only involved non-NUS members whereas hers will include more Scottish universities.
Lobbying the University to offer RUK students four years for the price of three
In order to attract the best RUK students, whether from private or state schools, Chloe wants to lobby the University into charging four years for the price of three for RUK students. This would allow St Andrews to compete better with other universities, such as Edinburgh, which already offers four years for the price of three. She says that applications from non-private school students have dropped. However, the University might not see RUK applications as a problem given it admitted 5% more RUK students for this academic year.
Fixing international student fees
Chloe’s plans are to use Edinburgh and Aberdeen’s decisions to fix international fees to lobby to the University. She adds that the University would struggle to find these difficulties acceptable because international students are such a big part of St Andrews.
Improving relations between the students and town
Chloe set up the St Andrews Community Forum last year which she wants to expand if she becomes President. She sees this as an opportunity for students and the town community to get more involved in each other’s activities. Chloe makes a good point that space will be scarce when Union redevelopment kicks. She says that by working with the local community, students may be able to find alternative space for their activities, but it also depends on what else is available in the town.
Freddie has stressed how important constructive relationships are to achieve results and to carry through the union redevelopment. If he’s right, Chloe’s plan to create a good working relationship with the University would be to every student’s benefit.