Mr Blain has a considerate amount of experience amassed over his four years in St Andrews. He has served as Charities Convenor, raised over £38,000 when he coordinated Race2 Berlin, sat on the Societies Committee and been Vice Principal Ambassador for two years. His experience within the Students’ Association and the University have allowed him to develop a range of organisational skills that could qualify him to be DoSDA next year.
Mr Blain’s principal aim is “mak[e] the most out of the opportunities that our Union offers.” He hopes to accomplish this through several different points. In terms of activities, Mr Blain pledges to make it a priority and to “tackle any decrease to the funding for student activities.” An added aspect of this is that he will organise effective Freshers’ and Refreshers Fayres – an unoriginal policy, yet an important part of the role.
Mr Blain also looks to increase postgraduate involvement by actively advertising events to them and making several “postgraduate officer positions.” Another opportunity to increase student activities is by “forging stronger links” with the Athletic Union, according to the candidate. In terms of employability, Mr Blain will look to increase opportunities and the scope of the alumni network.
Another of Mr Blain’s key policy platforms is efficiency, with a focus on fully utilizing the potential of student societies, the Byre Theatre and the Barron Theatre for student activities. For student societies, he hopes to advertise more events, make it easier to setup a society, actively engage in society training for two years and work closely with leaders of each group. Mr Blain also hopes to have the Byre Theatre “running as efficiently for students as it should” by making contact with the theatre and developing a pricing plan. He also hopes to increase the scope of events at the Barron Theatre.
Mr Blain’s third main aim will be to “focus on increasing the prestige and visibility of Student Association awards and accolades.” He hopes to fix acknowledgment of students who go above and beyond duty in being rewarded with Honorary Life Memberships. It will also be important to “make sure that all students worthy of awards submit their hours and gain the transcript recognition they deserve.” In terms of awards, Mr Blain hopes to make sure recipients aren’t marginalized despite the great work that they do. He hopes to create a new award for unbelievable service to student activities “to make sure that this sidelining stops” once and for all.
The Saint’s assessment
Overall, Mr Blain has the experience needed to do the job, with a manifesto full of sensible policies. Though some may need to be expanded upon to explain exactly how he will make them happen, Mr Blain is definitely a real contender in the race for the role of DoSDA.