Non-sabbatical races round-up

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While up until now most of the student media coverage of the elections has focused on the sabbatical candidates, races for the slightly smaller positions on both SRC and SSC are also taking place.

Association chair

One of the major races among these is that for Association chair. This position – currently held by Maxwell Baldi – entails chairing meetings for the SRC, SSC and SAEC as well as providing impartial advice to all members.  There are three candidates for the position: Joe Tantillo, Robert Dixon and Mukunda Shanbhag.

Mr Tantillo’s manifesto focuses on transparency and accessibility, education and objectivity. One of his main promises is to: “Heavily advertise the open forum and encourage students to come and express their ideas and concerns to the councils. Allowing students to sit in on meetings and address the councils will keep the SSC and SRC accountable.”

He further promises to ensure that students know more about how the Union works and what it is doing. Joe would like to send bi-weekly e-mails to students and to prepare a guide to the Union which will be handed out in Freshers’ Week.

Robert Dixon takes a different line in his manifesto. He proposes the introduction of online petitions. Currently, students can bring a motion to the SRC or SSC by having 25 other students sign their support in a petition. Robert wants to make these petitions available online.  This, he says, will make it easier for students to bring motions to the councils. His manifesto says: “you can influence policy and have your voices heard right from your laptop! There will be no need to stand outside the Library with bits of paper to get things done.”

Mr Dixon’s other main promise is to create a ‘minutes mailing list’. This would allow students to sign up to receive copies of the minutes from each meeting via e-mail, as soon as they are approved.

The third candidate is Mukunda Shanbhag. During Monday night’s hustings, he explained that his goals are focussed upon “accessibility” via increased social media, petitions, weekly office hours and education about the Union during Freshers’ Week.

SRC postgraduate convenor

Another important race taking place is that for the role of SRC postgraduate convenor. Tania Strützel is one candidate for this position.  She promises to lobby the University and each academic school to ensure fairer pay rates for PhD tutors; based on a survey of PhD tutors which she has previously conducted.  Tania further intends to work with CAPOD and the Schools to provide better training and support for PhD tutors.  Another of her main concerns is study space and Tania would like to secure longer library opening hours and continuous access to resources throughout the summer.  Another key issue for her is postgraduate representation.  Tania proposes having training specific to postgraduate representatives at the beginning of each academic year and ensuring that every School has at least one representative for both taught and research postgraduates.

Olivier Lewis is running against her to become postgraduate convenor. During Monday night’s hustings Mr Lewis described himself as, “very passionate about student affairs”. He points to a need for more library space and funding for research and attending conferences as major issues.  Olivier described postgraduate students as being “in limbo” and would like to address this issue of socialisation.

The final candidate for this position is Joe Slater. He has 10 goals including: more representative pay for postgraduate tutors; increased library opening hours; more postgraduate specific housing; creating a more inclusive postgraduate life.

SRC member for gender equality

There are also three candidates running for the position of SRC member for gender equality. Annie Newman proposes extending the hours of the sexual health clinic at the Union and changing it to a more suitable days.  She also proposes asking female alumni to run courses encouraging females to take on more leadership roles and to provide more internship opportunities.

Also running is Charlotte Gorman. During Monday night’s hustings she said there is a problem of “sexist and unfair behaviour” in St Andrews. She wants to work closely with societies like LGBT and FemSoc; as well as with an organisation called Women for Women who work to reduce sexism in St Andrews and the wider world.  She would also campaign for gender neutral toilets and hall rooms. Ms Gorman also pointed out Mr St Andrews as a key instance of sexism.

Jasmine Camm is the final candidate for member for gender equality. Like Ms Gorman, she wants gender neutral toilets. Jasmine would further like to set up an anonymous contact service – along the lines of Nightline – which would allow victims of sexism, gender inequality or sexual assault to seek advice. She also promises to raise awareness about sexual assault and physical violence by hosting events throughout the year.

SSC societies officer

Another contested position is SSC societies officer. Daniel Mayoh is running for this position. He wants to encourage collaboration between similar societies and to ensure that societies are able to advertise their events more thoroughly.  He further identifies finding alternative spaces during redevelopment as a major issue.

Courtney Lewis (the incumbent SSC Societies Officer) is running for re-election. She would like to create an online room booking system for booking rooms and to move societies’ training forward to spring.

Camille Bigot is also running. Among others things, she proposes splitting the Freshers’ Fayre into two events, allowing more students to attend.

SSC performing arts officer

The position of SSC performing arts officer (Mermaids) is another contested position. One candidate is Neil Christy. He promises to keep socials regular and open, encouraging people to join in. He would also like to launch more events in conjunction with other societies like STAR and Charities.

Ben Anderson, the current Mermaids Marketing Officer, is running against him. He would like to do more spoken only plays, in collaboration with STAR.  Ben also proposes increasing links with St Andrews graduates who have gone on to enjoy success in the arts.

Among the other races taking place are those for: SSC broadcasting officer (STAR) – between Sam Moore and Sean McDonald; Association environment and ethics officer – between Mark Marshall and Madeline Belt; SRC accommodation officer – between Sarah Gimont and George Welston; SRC member for widening access and participation – between Daniel Granville and Laura Campbell; SRC member for racialeEquality – between Jonathan Bertulis-Fernandes, Sium Ghebru and Hannah Kathleen Risser.

Click here for a full list of positions and candidates.

4 COMMENTS

  1. The coverage for the position of PostGraduate Convenor is inaccurate. In particular, the coverage of Tania Struezel does not accurately represent her policies.

    1. She does not ask for better training for supervisors. At the Monday night Hustings, and on her Facebook page, she clearly states that, based on her current role as Postgraduate Vice President she has realised that postgraduate representatives would benefit greatly from more training in how to make the postgraduate voice heard. This is one of Tania’s key policies on how to increase representation for postgraduates – an important issue since only 10% of postgrads votes in the election last year.

    2. Tania has three key policies (not two, as this coverage suggests)** – in addition to representation and resources, she is also running on the policy of remuneration. Through a survey she commissioned and conducted as part of her current role as Postgrad VP she has gathered a great deal of data which suggests that postgrad tutors are not being fairly remunerated. She has already taken steps to tackle this, and the Provost has proved receptive to the idea of entering negotiations on postgraduate pay.

    The coverage of Olivier Lewis is also inaccurate. At the Monday Hustings Lewis did describe postgraduate students as being ‘in limbo’. However, this was not an issue of socialisation, but was a reference to the experience of Masters’ students who Lewis views as between undergraduate and doctoral positions and therefore ‘in limbo’. As a Masters student I personally feel that this misrepresents the experience of a Masters students, and that issues of Masters students are much wider than the fact that they are ‘not yet PhD students’. Many of my peers do not in fact intend to proceed to a PhD, myself included. Since around half the postgraduate community is composed of taught Masters students, a greater grasp of the issues we face is important.

    **I recognise that due to issues of space the author cannot go into detail about all candidate’s policies, but as this article does state that Joe Slater is running on a platform of increased pay for postgraduate tutors, it is important that it is acknowledged that Tania also views this issue as important.

  2. Honestly, no coverage of the highly contested and very close SSC Broadcasting Officer position?

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