Manifesto analysis: Tom Groves for Association President

The election of Mr Groves on his “peoplefesto” — he appears to either be running for a joke or as a protest candidate — would undoubtedly cause a crisis within the Students’ Association. Furthermore, it would call into question the validity of the role of Association President and the ways by which we elect our candidates, particularly our president.

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Photo: Sammi Cardi

Unfortunately, The Saint does not have the word count flexibility to adequately address all 107 points of Mr Groves’ “peoplefesto”.

Instead, only five will be analysed because they have serious undertones, unlike the remaining 102 proposals.

The election of Mr Groves on his “peoplefesto” — he appears to either be running for a joke or as a protest candidate — would undoubtedly cause a crisis within the Students’ Association.

Furthermore, it would call into question the validity of the role of Association President and the ways by which we elect our candidates, particularly our president.

Housing

Asides from renting advice, there is currently little support for those students renting with private accommodation from the Students’ Association.

Mr Groves suggests the creation of a page on the Union website where students in private accommodation can report faults they have or find with their property.

If the landlord does not take appropriate action, Mr Groves suggests that “the Union will enforce some laws.”

While this is a dubious assertion, advice could instead be offered to students by the Association in these situations.

This policy is undoubtedly not well thought through and is presented briefly.

Nonetheless, it is a good concept in principle, although it would take significant time and organisation to implement for it to be successful for students and serve its purpose.

Events

Mr Groves also promises — if enough interest is provided — to welcome more indie bands to the Union for students during Freshers’ and Refreshers’ Week.

This is not the mandate of the Association President, as it is more so suited to the Director of Events, but it would be a relatively easy promise to keep.

Mr Groves does not assert how he will gauge student opinion either in relation to these events, epitomising the briefness of his policies and proposals as candidate for Association President.

Societies

Mr Groves further asserts that he will increase the budget for STAR Radio.

Mr Groves has a vested interest in the matter: as an organisation run by the Students’ Association it has a few problems to solve; audio quality issues leave much to improve upon in terms of listener experience.

Education

Mr Groves says that he is in support of remaining unaffiliated with the National Union of Students, or NUS.

Considering that there is no sudden urge to return the University of St Andrews’ membership to this union, and the last time the University held affiliation was 1975, this should not be a difficult proposal to achieve.

Mr Groves further suggests making a pie chart, detailing exactly where his tuition fees go.

Although the pie chart may be somewhat ambitious, the sentiment of more transparency regarding the distribution of students’ fees is a commonly held wish.

Thus, if elected, campaigning for greater transparency would not be unrealistic for Mr Groves.

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