The campaigns slogan “Ready, Steady, Peddie” is already enough to persuade you to read more about Ben Peddie and his plans if elected as AU President. Opening up by explaining the legacy of the university and how “Future generations of students will reflect on this era as the most exciting and dynamic period in the 600-year sporting history of our university.” Ben Peddie goes on to explain how his overall experience as the incumbent Athletic Union Treasurer and active member of the University Rugby Club would allow him to take on the role of AU President quite well.
Of course the first proposed policy is continuity, Ben highlights that the main purpose behind being AU President is to “represent the voices of the student body”. Seeing as Ben is already heavily involved in sports, this does not seem to be a problem and his relationship with the Proctor’s Office, Development and members of Senior Management in the University would only have a positive effect on communication.
Ben goes on to state that the current process of feedback from the students is both “laborious and anecdotal” so he aims to implement an “easy use feedback form”. In theory this seems to be a good idea, only that most students would not take the time to fill in a form and have to worry about sending it back. It is unclear if this form would be online/ paper or how the feedback would be dealt with.
Volunteering and Events:
His next two proposed policies, Volunteering and hosting of Large Scale Events both seem to have potential. The latter suggests that it will be Ben’s “priority to bring high profile events to St Andrews more frequently” including the return of the Alumni Weekend which will not only improve Alumni relations but raise new funds.
Regarding his policy on Volunteering, Ben includes his personal experience in South Africa and how it “truly changed” him as a person. His determination to “expose more students to these life changing opportunities” is admirable and it would be a good experience. Only issue is, it seems like a lot to set up and oversee.
Perhaps the best proposed policy is Ben’s plan to hold a competition to design a new Saints Sport Mascot. This would bring the artsy students together with the world of sports to create our Mascot which Ben believes is “something we are really missing at St Andrews,” something we completely agree with.
Transport and Academic Flexibility:
The two policies stated in almost every AU Presidents manifesto is the provision of transport and academic flexibility. Regarding the latter, Ben states that he will oversee “the successful implementation of this policy” that was drawn up and approved last year. However, it is not clear what the policy really is or what students should expect next year. Secondly, Ben admits that there have been improvements in the transport system but he will “continue his efforts” to fund for new AU vehicles. Continuity is key here and who doesn’t want new buses?
His last two proposed policies both bring something new to the table. Ben admits that over the last year there has been a lacking form of Physio Provision and he will ‘ensure’ that this will not be the case if he is elected as AU President. Finally, Ben leaves the best for the last with his idea to bring in a Smoothie Bar! Yes, no more “unhealthy and inappropriate snacks and drinks.” Ben will advocate for their removal and for them to be replaced ‘with a kiosk selling fresh juices and smoothies during peak times, and vending machines selling healthier sports drinks and snacks.’ The Saint thinks this idea is both smart and profitable and if really implemented could change the game of the AU.
The Saint’s assessment:
Overall, the manifesto brings up many promising ideas and policies. Although some are not backed with how they’ll be implemented, Ben’s passion and determination follows through. What is unique about the manifesto is the promise to bring something new, change is good and everyone can agree that with half the student population being involved in sport, we would all appreciate something new and exciting.