Earlier today Chloe Hill, the president of the Students’ Association, sent an email to the student body about the drugs survey The Saint is currently running. The Saint is proudly independent of the Association, which of course is entitled to its views. However, the email has raised some concerns that we would like to address.
The main point of Ms Hill’s message was to warn students that The Saint‘s web server is collecting IP addresses. This is correct: servers on the internet routinely collect these addresses, which are used to identify computers and networks. But an IP address is not proof of identity. Not only is it simple to falsify or obscure your IP address, but they only identify machines – an IP address cannot reveal the individual who was using the computer at the time.
We are worried about substance abuse in St Andrews and whether enough is being done to deter it. If the survey justifies our fears, we will have valuable data with which to kickstart a public debate and pressure the Union, University and local authorities to do more.
It is very unfortunate that this misguided email from the Association may deter people from completing the survey and in turn hinder our efforts to solve this problem. We think an open discussion is in everyone’s interests and we resent any attempt to stifle it.
You can take the survey here.