Read our interview with Mr Ohringer here.
Having initially nominated himself for the position of director of representation, Noah Ohringer is now running for the position of Association president. A student ambassador and president of the School of International Relations, Mr Ohringer is also involved in a variety of student activities such as Catwalk and Alpha Epsilon Pi. His brief six-point manifesto notably includes a potentially controversial promise to “hold bouncers at the Vic/Union/MaBells accountable for their unjustified brutality or racism towards students”*.
Mr Ohringer aims to strengthen the Alumni Foundation and generate more revenue for the University. With further elaboration on how he will achieve this, this may be popular among students more familiar with the endowment funding culture in North America.
Student accommodation and Fife Council
Ensuring high standards of accommodation for students has become an increasingly important aspect of being Association president. Mr Ohringer aims to ensure there is “enough affordable student accommodation”. Considering the imminent closure of Fife Park this is a pressing issue, but as yet he has made no clear statement about how he intends to increase the number, and decrease the price, of rooms in University or private accommodation. He also pledges to ensure that relations with Fife Council are “in good order”, potentially to encourage more HMO licenses for students.
Making all University buildings handicap accessible is arguably more within the remit of the director of representation, the role for which Mr Ohringer had previously intended to campaign. Increasing disabled access to University buildings has been a fundraising target for the Development Office for some time but Mr Ohringer intends to prioritise this issue.
Bouncers at the Vic, Union and MaBells
Perhaps most controversial within Mr Ohringer’s manifesto is his pledge to “hold bouncers at the Vic/Union/MaBells accountable for their unjustified brutality or racism towards students”*, an allegation he has not yet provided proper evidence for. It is also difficult to understand, without further clarification, how Mr Ohringer could use the position of Association president to hold this group of individuals to account or what this would entail. Whether this policy will appeal to the majority of the student population remains to be seen.
St Salvator’s Quad
Raisin Weekend and St Salvator’s Quad are central to the first-year student experience for many at the University of St Andrews. Mr Ohringer has also pledged to ensure “classes run smoothly” during the construction work in St Salvator’s Quad and to ensure “a foam fight takes place on Raisin Monday”.
Union website and PayPal
Finally, Mr Ohringer hopes for a “new Students’ Association website using PayPal instead of its current system”. One previous DoSDA, Meg Platt, campaigned on revamping the website but did not offer PayPal for purchases. Given that the current Association website was developed only in 2013, the addition of PayPal is unlikely to form a central tenet of Mr Ohringer’s campaign.
* Mr Ohringer has since retracted his remark that he would “hold bouncers at the Vic/Union/MaBells accountable for their unjustified brutality or racism towards students”.