On the whole, Mr Dashtebozorgy’s manifesto, while clearly containing some good ideas, does not appear to be fully thought out and does not completely stand up to scrutiny.
The first part of Mr Dashtebozorgy’s plan is to assist the DoRep in promoting messages about student welfare throughout the union. Saying he believes he can be of “great help,” in this respect, however it is not clear how exactly these proposals would be different from the current ways in which the DoRep spreads information in the Union. Mr Dashtebozorgy also says that, “I believe I can be of great help to the DoRep in communicating important health and safety messages, as I will be in charge of organising all the events that are attended by large crowds, and in many ways will be the Union’s main channel for giving information to the public,” However this seems to ignore the many other methods that the DoRep uses to communicate with students, such as weekly emails and extensive use of social media.
On the topic of actually organising events, Mr Dashtebozorgy says that, “Something I would be working hard to do as your DoES would be to bring the biggest acts I possibly could to the university and as often as possible,” Yet, he does provide any concrete plans of how he would go about ensuring these acts would come to St Andrews. One idea that The Saint believes would be of benefit to students is Mr Dashtebozorgy’s plan to introduce a crowdfunding/poll service that would allow students to express their preference on the acts that perform in the Union, which would in turn allow the DoEs to show the University and Students Association that there was sufficient interest in an act for them to perform in St Andrews. However, Mr Dashtebozorgy mentions no actual experience of ever organising or running an event in the past. As a result, students should question whether he would be up to the task of one of the DoES’s main roles.
Mr Dashtebozorgy’s proposal for a “Beacon Hour” of discounted cocktails in the Beacon Bar is a very interesting idea and could alleviate some student concerns over how expensive drinks may be. “The “Beacon Hour” gets around this issue by effectively operating cocktails on a rota; with a new cocktail becoming available each day for one hour only, most likely from 6-7pm in the evening. Not only does this allow the Union to continue as the cheapest place in town, but with a new cocktail every day it brings some much needed variety to the menu,” he states.
Mr Dashtebozorgy wishes to work with the group, “PressPlay” in order to bring new and more diverse acts into the Union, while more diverse music is a constant proposal from candidates for DoES, Mr Dashtebozorgy does seem to have a plan of how he would actually bring this promise to fruition.
Mr Dashtebozorgy proposes to give theatre groups “full access” to all Union rooms but does not lay out how he would do this or how it would affect the distribution of room bookings in the Union as it currently stands.
One of Mr Dashtebozorgy’s strangest proposals is his promise to provide, “healthy food for party goers at the end of the night.” The Saint is not confident that, even given the option, students will opt for a salad or fruit instead of a kebab from Dervish at the end of a night out. On top of this however, Mr Dashtebozorgy does not actually explain how much this food would cost, where it would be sold or given away, or even anything beyond simply saying it will happen. Students should question how and why this forms part Mr Dashtebozorgy’s platform or remit as DoES.
The Saint’s Assessment
While clearly passionate about wanting the job, The Saint feels that Mr Dashtebozorgy has not clearly laid how he would fulfil his promises, what experience he has that inspires confidence that they would be completed and how many of them would actually be implemented. After a year in which controversies in the union have sprung up over the renaming (and subsequent backtracking) of “The Bop” as “P.U.L.L.” and the Wiley’s “mid-life crisis” that delayed his performance until 1:15 AM, the union needs someone who will be able to ensure that they can deliver quality acts and events, organised well and efficiently, not a candidate who simply represents more of the same as some of the missteps of the past year.