Manifesto analysis: Campbell Anderson, candidate for director of events and services

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

Read our interview with Mr Anderson here.

Running for the position of director of events and services, Campbell Anderson’s manifesto is much as you would expect. He cites his four years as part of the Union Ents crew as valuable experience for the role;  having helped to put on many and varied events in the past, including advising on Freshers’ Weeks 2012 and 2013, he feels well placed to take on this job.

Securing student space

Mr Anderson promises to ensure that redevelopment of the Union building causes as little disruption to the line-up of Union events as possible.  Though identifying the ensuing problem of Venue 1’s closure at some point close to the Christmas break, he is confident that he would be able to keep student events running in both the newly redeveloped main bar and in Venue 2. For bigger events, he suggests the use of Younger Hall, though he seems unsure of the practicalities or costs of this proposed solution: “I suspect the cost makes this cost-prohibitive for all but the biggest Union events.” The practicality of this may therefore be drawn into question.

Protecting RAG Week

With Venue 1 closing at Christmas time, Mr Anderson intends to protect RAG Week’s big, traditional events by moving them to dates in semester one rather than two. The week usually devoted to this Charity Campaign can then be left for smaller events in the various Union bars. This is a means of ensuring that RAG Week does not ‘lose momentum’ after raising £20,000 for charity this year and is not adversely affected by the redevelopment. This is an admirable and valid point. It may make more sense, however, to simply move the entire week rather than trying to keep part of the schedule in semester two.

An exceptional Freshers’ Week

Having advised on what he says were the two most successful Freshers’ Weeks in the Association’s history, Mr Anderson seems confident that he can organise a great week for 2014. His main idea is to work with other unions at nearby universities – like Dundee and Edinburgh – to split the cost of attractive big-name acts. This seems like a viable policy that might increase the popularity of Union events, though he does not say what other, larger universities would get from the collaboration. Mr Anderson said: “Forging these contacts would have benefits to the Union beyond Fresher’s Week, and attracting bigger names throughout the year with less financial risk might well be a solution to the post-Freshers’ slump that hit the Union last year.”

Improve our trademark events

Mr Anderson aims to refine and reboot traditional Union events, such as the Bop. This is not a particularly original policy but still one which seems relevant. He also states that owing to the popularity of Rewind he would ensure that this remained a regular event taking place every second Saturday. Having this night dedicated to ‘cheese’ would free up the Bop to “establish a clearer identity as a chart and dance night”.

Get our events out there

Another point raised in his manifesto is that greater advertising and use of social media is needed to make sure that enough people know about and attend Union events. Campbell intends to create links with halls for advertising purposes and to use the new glass panels of the Union as advertising space. This would, however, seem to detract from the clean, modern lines of the new building design.

Keep bars as cheap as possible

Mr Anderson promises to ensure that the prices of drinks in all of the redeveloped Union bars remain the lowest in St Andrews. He will advertise drinks promotions to keep the bars busy. Low prices will be an attractive policy, but Mr Anderson provides no financial details about how this will be maintained.

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