Manifesto analysis: Ruth Wright for Athletic Union President

Ms Wright’s manifesto is detailed and full of ideas to improve the sporting experience for students at St Andrews. Her focuses on the environment and sexual misconduct are unique and worthy of attention, whilst she has a clear vision for streamlining transport and the booking of facilities. Her focus on kit pricing may be an issue for some smaller clubs, however it is clear through her experience with the AU and her policies within her manifesto that she has the interests of students at heart.

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Photo: Sammi Cardi

Veteran of Trampoline and Parkour clubs, AU Secretary Ruby Wright believes her experience with the AU makes her a suitable candidate for AU President.

Inclusion

Ms Wright’s wishes to Saints Sport more accessible through a close relationship with the new Director of Wellbeing, so the work done by the Students’ Association and AU are more in tandem. She also seeks to emphasise the cheaper “Club Access” memberships to ensure everyone gets good value from the University.

Ms Wright vows to take a “stronger stance against sexual misconduct.” To emphasise the importance of preventative action, she suggests implementing “Got Consent?” workshops through Saints Sport.

Such a heavy focus on wellbeing is important and it is clear that Ms Wright has a vision for inclusivity and athlete safety.

Communications

Along with introducing a “You Said, We Did” style feedback system at the Sports Centre, she suggests making the AU Executive and Student Sport team more known so when issues arise, people know who to contact.

The improved feedback system would let students offer advice, akin to the library’s system, and help the AU improve student experience. By making the AU more visible, it should ensure problems are easier to solve.

Kit

Ms Wright cites the need to “prioritise affordable kit” for students without neglecting quality or taking weaker deals.

Whilst pricing is a key factor, other issues require addressing. Quality has been a problem for clubs across the University, whilst the lack of adaptability often means smallers clubs have longer to wait. These seem important to Ms Wright as well, but their absence from her manifesto could be a cause for concern.

Booking and Transport

Ms Wright aims to offer hourly transport bookings for cars, ensuring people have access to them when they need them so more inexperienced drivers can take them out for practice sessions before driving to away competitions. She also seeks to increase the transparency of booking facilities so that clubs know how slots are allocated and which venues are available.

Such a clear idea on streamlining the booking of facilities is commendable and should solve some logistical issues.

Continuity

One selling point throughout Ms Wright’s manifesto is her experience on the AU board and the continuity she could provide from incumbent AU President Tom Abbott. In a more bold idea, she also suggests evaluating the need for the AU to be accountable to the University Court, because very few members of the Court, in her words, “know our situation.”

The continuity from the previous President would allow for the implementation of more long-term measures, but it may also be a slight stifler to imagination. Likewise, her comments regarding the University Court are interesting but there is very little indication of how such a review would take place, or how the AU would be able to extricate itself from the University Court.

Climate Change

Ms Wright also proposes working with the Transition and Environment Teams at the University in order to reduce the AU’s carbon footprint by cutting down on energy usage and using less paper within the AU. She also speaks of introducing an environmental policy to the AU’s current legislation as one does not currently exist, which she believes will “provide a framework for successful sustainability.”

Sustainability is a key objective for the AU to work towards and Ms Wright clearly has a vision for doing so. By introducing legislation and working on group initiatives, it would feasibly lead to the AU making real progress.

Final Thoughts

Ms Wright’s manifesto is detailed and full of ideas to improve the sporting experience for students at St Andrews. Her focuses on the environment and sexual misconduct are unique and worthy of attention, whilst she has a clear vision for streamlining transport and the booking of facilities. Her focus on kit pricing may be an issue for some smaller clubs, however it is clear through her experience with the AU and her policies within her manifesto that she has the interests of students at heart.

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