Association Presidential candidate Paloma Paige is undoubtedly devoted to improving student welfare, as evident in her manifesto. Some points may be difficult to achieve, yet they are not completely implausible. Optimism and ambition should be encouraged and expected from her candidacy, but it will be nearly impossible to achieve everything she has set out to accomplish. Many of her promises require further clarification, and perhaps slightly more thought, although for the most part they are adequately explained and sensible.
Ms Paige correctly identifies the issues that the Association President should be fighting for in regard to the issue of Brexit. However, like many prospective candidates, the method by which she would do so is not appropriately addressed. Simply asserting that “Erasmus programs and other study abroad programs should be maintained” unfortunately does not change anything regarding the issue. Ms Paige goes on to say that she will support continued collaborations with the National Union of Students. However, this is slightly perplexing given that the University of St Andrews has not been affiliated with the National Union of Students since 1975. However, Ms Paige does offer an interesting proposal of establishing a forum to create graduate jobs in Europe and in the United Kingdom for international students. This is an ambitious proposal, but it could also be possible with collaborations from the Careers Centre.
In terms of alumni, Ms Paige says that she will be working with alumni to help increase the number and range of scholarships available to students. This is not impossible, but it is slightly optimistic and will be undoubtedly difficult to achieve. However, if Ms Paige can secure a scholarship for those less fortunate than our-selves, it will be an admirable and highly commendable achievement.
Ms Paige further describes in her manifesto that she will work to encourage students to participate in the local community with the Community Relations Officer, although this is in part already the role of the officer, perhaps by implication more could be done to raise awareness by encouraging students.
Ms Paige also states that she will work with the DoWell to make Raisin and May Dip safer. No further details are offered on how it would be made safer, however.
Ms Paige has strong and realistic ideas when it comes to accommodation. All of which she will not be able to accomplish without student support and placing significant pressure on the Residential Business Service. However, many of her ideas, such as a flexible hall meal plan, need to be expanded upon. Presumably, this is a system that allows students to choose which days of the week and which meals they pay for and receive. Ms Paige needs to make this clear and has not put considerable thought into the matter. But nonetheless, a similar system already exists at other prominent universities, such as some Cambridge colleges. Other achievable goals would be the reformation of the wardenial system, or greater postgraduate and undergraduate integration.
Increasing the number of stops on the night bus is also a good idea — although Ms Paige implies that the Association is responsible for the night bus, when it is in fact the University. She does not provide information as to where the further stops would be.
However, she is right to recognise those who do not live on the route would undoubtedly benefit from the security of the nightbus.