Voting in all student elections opened at 12:01 AM this morning 10 March.

A lower number of candidates this year has meant that many of the major races, such as for Member for Students with Disabilities, are uncontested.

Moreover, three of the five sabbatical officer elections feature only one candidate, essentially guaranteeing victory for Ben Peddie (for Athletic Union President), Caroline Christie (for Director of Student Development and Activities) and Jack Carr (for Director of Representation).

However the races for Director of Events and Services (DoES) and Association President have proven to be heated over the past week.

Vying for the role of DoES are Taryn O’Connor, a member of the LGBT+ committee and the convenor of this year’s Glitterball, and Sina Dashtebozorgy who argues that despite never having organised a major event like Glitterball or run a society, his closeness to Chris MacRae, the current DoEs, whom he helped out during this years’ Freshers’ Week, means that his lack of such experience is irrelevant.

In the presidential race, Annie Newman, the Rector’s Assessor, and Charlotte Andrew, the Association Alumni Officer, have engaged in a heated battle to succeed Pat Mathewson who is stepping down after his second term.

Ms Newman has argued that her experience on the University Court as Rectors’ Assessor gives her insight into how policy is formed and change is enacted in the University and Association, while Ms Andrew has said that the Court needs to be exposed to new ideas.

Ms Andrew has also worked to make widening access a central part of her campaign, promising to set up an outreach programme where students from poorer backgrounds would return home to encourage other students to go to St Andrews.

Ms Newman too has stressed the importance of widening access in her campaign, saying that she will push to have applications for accommodation bursaries included as an automatic part of any application to St Andrews.

On the issue of accommodation a point of contention has proven to be the issue of the HMO licence ban.

Ms Andrew says she will push for a full repeal of the ban during a review by Fife Council later this year, while Ms Newman has argued that to do so would damage relations between the town and the University and that ending the ban is unrealistic.

Voting closes 11 March at 6PM.

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