Dan Einav presents a brief “history” of Association Presidents

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Photo: The Saint

What follows is a Brief “History” of Association Presidents:

1415

Thomas Livingston: the Scottish monk and diplomat was St Andrews’ inaugural Association President. Running a campaign based on claims of Divine Right and promises of better wine to be supplied at Eucharist ceremonies, Livingston became a firm favourite amongst students and staff alike. Whilst the majority of policies he implemented during his tenure were overturned during the Reformation, his pet-project “SHAG Week” has survived in its original format to this day.

1759

Benjamin Franklin: While he never actually became President of the United States, Benjamin Franklin was offered a brief stint as the Commander in Chief of the St Andrews union in addition to being made Freeman of the City. Franklin’s time as Association President was short but its impact in bringing American students to the University cannot be understated. Without Franklin, St Andrews wouldn’t be the proud Scottish-themed American university it is today.

Jean-Paul Marat: French revolutionary, lover of baths and St Andrews Association President, Jean-Paul Marat practised his radical anti-authoritarian activism here in St Andrews only a decade before the French Revolution, by launching a coup d’état and taking control of the union presidency. This drastic action was seen as being largely unnecessary and pretty obnoxious by most of the student body since the previous Association President didn’t really care that much about the position anyway as he was only doing it to boost his CV.

1977

Alex Salmond: Before he led an unsuccessful Scottish Independence movement, Alex Salmond had a year to forget as Association President. Salmond was never a popular president but things went from bad to worse when he blew the entire union budget on a separatist campaign which sought to reclaim St Andrews for Scottish people. Despite canvasing the town with propaganda, his term as president ended in humiliation as he failed to account for the fact that there are literally no Scottish students at St Andrews.

1982

Olivier Sarkozy: Years before his half-brother became President of France, Olivier Sarkozy made his name by becoming the Association President. Many claim that what drove Nicholas to the French leadership was his desire to eclipse his sibling’s political achievement here in St Andrews. He may have led a country, but has he ever run a university union smoothly? No. And neither did Olivier in a largely unsuccessful term.

1994

Kim Jung-Un: According to reliable sources in North Korea, Kim Jung-Un was Association President at St Andrews at the tender age of eleven. During his reign, Kim Jung-Un apparently brought peace, academic success and financial prosperity to the university in a way that had never been experienced before or since. In his sole year in charge he is said to have invented Raisin Weekend, founded the School of History and discovered the existence of Albany Park.

2002-3

Hamish McHamish: McHamish’s philanthropic work saw him honoured with a statue before his untimely death in 2014, but few people know the story of his time as student president. McHamish’s first year in charge, in which he oversaw the initial developments of DRA, was so successful that he was voted-in for a second year. Yet it was during this sophomore year, in what was dubbed the “West Port-Gate Scandal”, that McHamish was caught buying Class-A drugs under the historic arch at the entrance to South Street.

Following his impeachment, McHamish couldn’t find employment anywhere and decided to wander the streets of St Andrews for the rest of his life fighting drug-abuse and giving council at the student support centre.

2013

Chloe Hill:  The previous Association President took a leaf out the Francis Underwood school of politics and managed to get the top job despite technically losing the popular vote to rival joke-candidate Jamie Ross. “Democracy is so overrated” she was quoted as saying in her acceptance speech. That said, she didn’t really do much of interest during her dictatorial rule.

2014-16

Pat Matthewson: Having been unable to secure any form of meaningful employment after his first term as Association President, Matthewson decided to stay on for a second year in which he undertook a largely symbolic role as a constant, walking reminder of the fact that being head of a university committee doesn’t actually impress anyone in the real world.

2016-17

Someone Who Takes Themselves Too Seriously- In 2016, Someone Who Takes Themselves Too Seriously became Association President. Using words such as ‘manifesto’ and ‘revolutionise’ in their campaign rhetoric, Someone Who Takes Themselves Too Seriously seemed to have forgotten that they’re not Karl Marx but rather a 22 year old Management student from somewhere like Devon or Maine.

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