Manifesto analysis: Emily Rogers, candidate for DoES

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oUByd9HZNw]
Emily Rogers is running for the position of Director of Events and Services on the back of her experience as producer for Blind Mirth and director for On The Rocks.

However, she has never been part of the SSC or SRC and so may struggle to learn the ropes at the beginning. Though she says that she has good working relationships with staff in the Union “having worked in and around the Union for the past two years,” it is unclear what this work entailed.

Utilisation of new spaces

With the redeveloped Union offering new spaces for events and society use, Ms Rogers promises to utilise both the club space and performance space of Venue 1. She proposes to construct a “temporary stage” in the middle of the room if an act finds the stage too small. Yet it is unclear how this would work in practice or where the funds would come from.

Events

Ms Rogers has promised to continue favourite events like Sinners and to bring back old favourites such as Rewind. Her manifesto lists many new events, however she does not say how all of these events will fit in to the schedule or how she will have the capability to organise them all. Ms Rogers says: “After speaking with the Building Manager, the Ents Crew and former holders of the DoES position, I am confident that we will be able to host more events using the same amount of manpower.” Though vague, if this is true, The Saint wonders why the policy to has not been implemented before this year.

Money

Another of Ms Rogers promises is to “balance the small and large events to remain commercially responsible whilst not sacrificing an exceptional student experience.” Her experience as director of On The Rocks may mean she has experience in managing money, though how she will keep the balance between small and large events remains to be seen.

Additionally, a popular policy will be the implementation of budget nights at the Union on Fridays. Students will no doubt be happy to hear this – most other Student Unions already have budget club nights – but Ms Rogers has not made it clear how the Union will afford this. When Friday is the most popular night for going to the Union, The Saint feels it would make more sense to have these budget nights during the week or on a Saturday when the Union is less popular.

Advertising

One of the biggest problems the Union faces is getting students to fill the events. Even if Ms Rogers runs great events, this will be for nothing if she does not ensure there is a stellar advertising campaign behind them. Hopefully her On The Rocks experience will help with this, though she makes no mention of advertising in her manifesto.

Big name acts

Ms Rogers promises to continue Mr O’Rourke’s attempts to bring in big name acts, keeping up the networks he has begun to create with other Students Associations. Though she is upfront in admitting she can’t make big promises on this front, her policy will be popular amongst students.

Student run events

Encouraging students to run their own events in the Union and come up with creative ideas is another of Ms Roger’s main policies. She promises to help any student wishing to put on an event and proposes creating a “how to plan an event” section on the Union’s website. Though the idea behind this is admirable, the logistics may prove too tricky in practice.

Rectors Café

Ms Rogers promises to work closely with the Union’s commercial manager to provide more seating and a larger variety of healthy food options in Rectors Café. It is nice to note that Ms Rogers is not solely focused on club events but has taken the wider Union into consideration. Many students will be pleased to hear her proposals for Rectors.

Overall, Ms Rogers’ apparent lack of experience of how the Union works may set her back and many of her policies will need further clarification and evidence to prove that they are feasible – such as the cheap drinks on Friday nights. However, overall, she expresses good ideas about how to make full use of the new Union spaces.

The Saint’s Assessment

Overall, Ms Rogers’ manifesto has some good ideas but she will need to explain many of them further to convince students that she can make them work in practice. Her lack of experience with Union bureaucracy may also set her at a disadvantage.

13 COMMENTS

  1. “Her lack of experience with Union bureaucracy may also set her at a disadvantage.” This is simply incorrect, laughably so.

    Emily has more experience working within Union bureaucratic structures than any other student I have worked with. The status of On The Rocks as a Students’ Association Project combined with Blind Mirth’s affiliated status to Mermaids means dealing with all of the Union’s internal structures- from the Cash Office to risk assessments to working with Building Supervisor and Commercial Manager, often on her own. Her OTR role involves interacting and negotiating with societies and subcommittees to assess what is financially and logistically feasible for the festival on an almost daily basis.

    I urge The Saint to review the factual inaccuracies of this piece and re-assess Emily Rogers as the incredibly experienced candidate that she is. To do otherwise is simply irresponsible journalism.

  2. Having worked with Emily on many different aspects of life in the Union (as so many of us have) I realise that the writer/editor of this article is severely ill-informed on the workings of the Union and perhaps should do some reading up on how the Union works before making such bold – and incorrect – statements.

    As the other comments have already stated Emily is Festival Director for On The Rocks which is an association project (I won’t explain what this is as a quick look on the Union website will explain, Hint: It’s under Activities, then Association Projects) and also as a producer for Blind Mirth, an affiliated society of Mermaids alongside many other Mermaids productions – including the recent sell-out production of “The Importance of Being Earnest” at the Byre Theatre.

    So much of the fantastic work that the students who work closely with the Union do, often goes unacknowledged. For a student publication to further undervalue these contributions when commenting on an individual’s ability is really disgraceful.

    I really do hope that the Saint sees sense in amending their article and also apologising for the falsehoods that they have chosen to write about Emily. This inaccuracy is currently tarnishing the Saint’s reputation as a legitimate commentator on the Students’ Association Elections .

  3. ‘Ms Rogers says: “After speaking with the Building Manager, the Ents Crew and former holders of the DoES position, I am confident that we will be able to host more events using the same amount of manpower.” Though vague, if this is true, The Saint wonders why the policy to has not been implemented before this year.’

    “The Saint” should watch Ms Rogers’ video interview where she clearly states what she means by this statement – it is do with the new layout of the Redeveloped Union. This happens to be the first year that we get new venues in the Redeveloped Union to work with.

    As the comments above exemplify, the factual errors in this article are astounding. I was unaware that being a member of staff at the Union gave one superior knowledge of Union bureaucracy than running an Association Project, yet this is what a comparison of The Saint’s Manifesto Analyses for candidates running for DoES seems to suggest. The Saint’s coverage of the Elections are meant to inform the student body of their options in the most unbiased manner. The paper has a responsibility to do a fair analysis and be critical yes, but also do its homework. Instead this article (and several others on the Elections this year) throw around startling inaccuracies and does not make the slightest effort to hide bias. This is unacceptable, and has virtually eradicated any respect I may have mistakenly had for The Saint.

  4. I’m sorry to see that it is in fact The Saint whose knowledge of the Union is lacking. Having worked with Emily on many projects I can confirm that she knows more about the inner workings of the Union than most people who sit on a council or happen to have an association title. More importantly, she has wonderfully close working relationships with the people in the Union who can make a difference, and this will make a better DoES than someone who simply has an official Union position. Although of course this article seems to also miss that Director of On The Rocks is a Union position itself.

  5. To question the strengths of her working relationship with the union is absurd. Emily has run the largest student arts festival in Scotland for the past two years and it would not have been possible if she did not have the entire support of the union and its staff. Having worked with Emily many times, I have been with her as she coordinates with every department in the union, (the General Office, Print & Design, Bruce, the Commercial Office, the Cash Office, and others). Under Emily’s direction, OTR’s status as an association project was solidified and Blind Mirth strengthened its relationship with Mermaids (the committee that oversees Mirth) and was able to self-fund their 2014 Fringe Run, to achieve this she had to work with the union’s bureaucracy and had to wait for decisions to be voted on by the SRC and the SSC when she was unable to vote.

    I have to agree with the others when they said that the writers need to check their facts. Anyone can put an event on in the union, they always have been and the always will be able to; clearly the writers do not know this. Emily’s plan is to make this more accessible to everyone. Through the leadership of the DoES, all union’s departments and subcommittees work together to provide the student body with entertainment. The Saint does not understand what it takes to put on an event, it takes the entire union. And it is often taken for granted.

  6. To The Saint & anyone else interested: “1.1. An Association Project is a framework for projects considered to be essential components of the Students’ Association.” Please note the word ‘essential’. You can find the entire motion here: http://www.yourunion.net/news/article/7100/MOTION-TO-INTRODUCE-ASSOCIATION-PROJECTS/

    Association Project Chairs, such as the Director of the On The Rocks Festival, are directly line-managed by the DoSDA. The On the Rocks Festival has additional oversight by the DoES, largely due to the logistical integration with Union venues, services and the Ents Crew. The role is operationally the same as the SSC Officers – weekly meetings, direct report to a Sabb, chair and manage one of the major Union committees, etc. The Director of OTR does not have a vote on SSC due to representational overlap with subcommittees such as Mermaids and Music is Love, but is structurally the same ‘level’ as an SSC Officer within the Union’s financial and reporting structure.

    #TheMoreYouKnow

  7. As the above comments have already explained, Emily has more than enough experience to continue developing and improving the Union. Anyone who has seen her work with On The Rocks or Blind Mirth (or anyone who has met her and felt the overwhelming positive energy she brings to a room for that matter) will know that she was made for the job.

    I’m 110% convinced that Emily will make a fantastic DoES. I’m not convinced that The Saint will be able to come back from the complete embarrassment that is their coverage of this year’s elections. A news source has a responsibility to provide content that is factual, unbiased, and grammatically correct. I see none of that here. I implore the editors and staff of The Saint to learn the difference between being critical and being disrespectful, and I suggest you apologize to Emily and to the other candidates to whom you have been so rude and unfair.

  8. “Lack of experience of how the Union works”?! The Saint seems to not have read Emily Rogers’ manifesto. Having sat on the On the Rocks committee, with Emily at the helm, it is evident as to how much experience she has. I would say that OTR is the project that requires you to know the Union and how it works, more than any other activity she could have been involved in. She has had to liaise with every Union venue and Union staff in preparation for OTR’s takeover of the Union, as well as coordinating over 40 events. I know firsthand that she has built positive relationships across the Union.
    If anyone has the experience and knowledge, Emily does. I want to know what the authors of this article have been reading!

  9. This article is a highly irresponsibly written piece which does not show the real capabilities of Emily Rogers. Her experience in the union is obvious, running OTR, an association project gives her enough experience with all of the Union bureaucracy. The saints inability to look beyond the SRC and SSC to the areas of the Union which she actually needs to know about, such as the venue mangers, tech officers and finance s a very unhelpful way of looking at the whole of the Union workings.
    The Saint should also learn to watch its own interviews. She states clearly the new stage space is needed because of the new Union set up.
    I would greatly appreciate corrections to this unfair assessment of Emily’s abilities and policies by the Saint, as there is a difference between journalistic opinion, and lies.

  10. I am deeply concerned to read the Saint questioning Emily’s experience. It shows a complete lack of research to provide an accurate analysis of her manifesto. Emily is one of the most well versed students in the running, and bureaucracy, of the Students Association. She has managed one of the largest events in the student calendar for two years and has solidified it as a key part of the St Andrews experience. To do this, you need to have a deep understanding of how the Union works, who the people are, and have their trust. Emily has developed incredibly strong professional relationships with almost everyone in the Union which will serve her well in the role of DoES. Simply put, there is no more qualified with a set of results to prove it.

    Quite frankly the shoddy and irresponsible journalism of the Saint shows no regard for portraying accurate and fair analyses of candidate manifestos. It is incredibly worrying that it seeks to sway students in such a way to such a point it has lost credibility. The only way forward for the Saint is to issue an apology and acknowledge the injustice done in this instance.

  11. As the commenters above have all mentioned that this piece seriously mischaracterises Emily Roger’s past experience within the Students’ Association, I won’t dwell on that other than to say I am in agreement with the posts above.

    Of the many concerning allegations in this article, though, one paragraph stood out as very problematic:

    “[Emily] promises to help any student wishing to put on an event and proposes creating a ‘how to plan an event’ section on the Union’s website. Though the idea behind this is admirable, the logistics may prove too tricky in practice.”

    What?!? Surely, the ENTIRE point of being a sabb is to help students with their aims. I would frankly be alarmed if anyone ran for DoES and did not want to help students put on events! Fun freshers acts and commercial success are part of the remit as well, but ultimately the DoES must be accountable, foremost, to students. Some students will have loads of experience putting on events, others will not. The DoES should be in a position to help those who need it, and I am grateful that a space like the Union exists in part for this very purpose.

    Any candidate running for any Union position who does not prioritise student representation should not be running in the first place. Not only does Emily have experience and innovative ideas in spades, but she is passionate about ensuring that all students’ voices are heard.

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