I’ve had the pleasure of working with Scott (accommodation officer), Anna (member for private accommodation) and Ruth (member for university accommodation) in the last few months. Along with myself they make up our Students’ Association accommodation team. They have been working incredibly hard this term with many different projects that I wanted to update you on.
Scott was a senior student last year and campaigned during his election to get better training for hall reps. He has been working with CAPOD to build a training programme for senior students, treasurers, and secretaries which has been rolled out this term for all the new halls reps.
We have the new Hall Champions league, combining the charities campaign, sports competition and Transition’s energy initiative into three prizes and an overall one for the hall that does the best in the three areas.
We have written an up-to-date ‘how to rent’ guide which contains information to help students rent in the St Andrews private housing market. This will be published in the next week ready for the hall talks given to first year students on renting in St Andrews, and will also be given out at the ‘have your say’ event we are holding on the 14 November in School 2 at 7pm.
This event is going to be an opportunity for students to have their say on the housing issues they face. I will be there discussing various issues and answering your accommodation questions, along with a member of the Community Council, The Preservation Trust, and the University’s Residence and Business Services (RBS).
Anna chairs the regular senior student forum, where hall committees can raise ideas or issues, and have an opportunity to speak directly with RBS about them. A particular outcome so far this year has been that proposed changes to Dean’s Court were raised by RBS; we then held an open meeting with the post grads in Deans Court to talk through them. I’m pleased to say their views have been taken on board and the proposals will not be taken forward because the students didn’t want the changes.
Additionally, along with Accommodation Advocate Naomi, we deal with individual student support, helping to find accommodation, dealing with landlords, and hall committee issues.
There are loads of plans in the pipeline too, including videos on various aspects of renting to go with the ‘how to rent’ guide. In early February we are holding a flat mate speed-dating evening, for students who need to find a flat mate for the following year, and an affordability fayre, so keep a look out for those. The team use the twitter account @SRCAccomTeam – following them is one way keep up to date.
Its not always visible what our SRC members do for students, because much of it is behind the scenes or small scale things that make a big difference – not just poster campaigns and big events.
I hope that with this article I’ve given you some idea of what your elected officers do, and how important their work is.