Student elections are right around the corner here in St Andrews, and a lot of positions are up for grabs. Below, current Union officers from the Student Services Committee (SSC) give some insight into their posts (NB: the Head of Ents and Design Officer are not chosen at this point).
- SSC charities officer
- SSC external funding officer
- SSC debates officer
- SSC performing arts officer
- SSC music officer
- SSC broadcasting officer
- SSC societies officer
- SSC volunteering officer
- SSC member without portfolio
SSC charities officer
Current position holder: George Parker
Position description: The SSC charities officer (also known as the Charities Campaign convenor) oversees the Charities Campaign. They plan and chair the Charities Campaign’s public and executive meetings, oversee the Campaign’s subcommittees (such as Race2 and RAG Week) and support the Committee, which consists of over 30 members. On a wider scale, they represent the charitable community of St Andrews at public events.
SSC external funding officer
Current position holder: Joe Tantillo
Position description: The SSC external funding officer is the head of a subcommittee whose main responsibility is the acquisition of grants from external charitable trusts. They liaise with the heads of Union subcommittees and associated student projects in order to find out more about their financial needs, and then assist them with filling out applications and writing cover letters to various charitable trusts. The job requires strong writing and organisational skills, and you also have to be prepared to be rejected on a large number of your applications.
Favourite part of the position: My favourite part of the job is the feeling of satisfaction when you have a successful grant application, and you know that you directly contributed to improving student life in St Andrews.
SSC debates officer
Current position holder: Will Lord
Position description: The SSC debates officer is the president of the Union Debating Society, the oldest and one of the most prestigious in the English-speaking world. The role is both demanding and rewarding: the president is responsible for overseeing almost everything the society does, from organising top-flight weekly public debates to setting the year’s budget.
Favourite part of the position: My favourite part of the job has definitely been watching our best public debates (those on austerity, the constitution and Valentine’s Day in particular) come to life in Lower Parliament Hall after months of preparation.
Advice to potential candidates: Any potential candidate should definitely think about the time commitment required of this role, and have real vision for speeches and motions they want to see in Lower Parliament Hall.
SSC performing arts officer
Current position holder: David Patterson
Position description: The SSC performing arts officer is president of the Mermaids Performing Arts Fund, one of the subcommittees of the Association. Mermaids funds and supports 30-40 shows a year, as well as Christmas Ball, the biggest annual Union event, so a large part of the job is supporting the Mermaids Committee and the shows in handling day-to-day logistics.
SSC music officer
Current position holder: Anna Merryfield
Position description: As music officer, the role in the SSC is to facilitate communication between Music is Love, the Union’s music subcommittee, and the rest of the events and services committee. Music is Love puts on gigs and supports students wishing to make music.
SSC broadcasting officer
Current position holder: Oscar Swedrup
Position description: The SSC broadcasting officer is better known the station manager of STAR: St Andrews Radio. This means responsibility for one of the biggest and brightest student communities, which showcases 90 live shows. It also means responsibility to the entire student body: to share great new music, informative news articles and entertaining programming.
SSC societies officer
Current position holder: Courtney Lewis
Position description: The societies officer’s primary role is to convene and chair meetings of the Societies Committee. The societies officer also serves as a point of contact for societies and works closely with the director of student development and activities. As a sitting member of the SSC, the societies officer is also able to represent both the Societies Committee and societies in general during SSC decision making.
Favourite part of the position: My favourite part of the role is helping societies with any problems they may face and acting as an advocate for them in the Societies Committee.
Advice to potential candidates: Know what policy you want to achieve by the end of your year. It’s easy to get caught up in the everyday workings of the Societies Committee, and having a set direction you want to move towards will help guide the decisions you make.
SSC volunteering officer
Current position holder: Fay Holland
Position description: The role of the SSC volunteering officer is to oversee the St Andrews Voluntary Service (SVS), the subcommittee that recruits, trains, and supports student volunteers. We have around 250 volunteers involved in 44 different local projects. It’s a diverse role because of the wide range of opportunities we offer and anyone that volunteers will know that it’s a fantastic way to get to know more people in the local community.
Favourite part of the position: Being involved in the projects themselves. For me, that means getting covered in glitter every week at Rymonth House Arts & Crafts Club! It’s also fantastic to meet so many fellow volunteers and hear about their experiences.
Advice to potential candidates:You have to be organised, enjoy working with people, and have a good awareness of the needs of volunteers, organisations, and service-users. It’s been a pleasure to hold the position over the last year and I would encourage anyone interested to get involved in SVS.
SSC member without portfolio
Current position holder: Keith Cordrey
Position description: The member without portfolio is tasked with helping other members of the SSC with their campaigns and projects, thus allowing you to be flexible and to learn about how the Union works. Alongside the Association chair, you are also responsible for arranging SRC and SSC socials.
Advice to potential candidates: I’d purely like to say that member without portfolio is whatever you make of it / whatever anyone higher up than you forces you to make of it.