Why we should be behind “Ask Angela”

This issue's editorial argues for the necessity of "Ask Angela" and greater campus safety in St Andrews in the wake of the "Miss M" verdict, which found that a former student of the University was raped in 2013 and awarded her £80,000 in damages.

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With the Dunhill wrapped up and deadlines approaching thick and fast, our second issue falls at a time when the bustle of golfers and celebrities has died down and students have holed up around the town to focus on their studies.

This said, The Saint has chosen to set its sights outside of St Andrews for this issue’s lead article, instead focusing on the decision made last week at the Personal Injury Court in Edinburgh.

The decision made at the civil court awarded “Miss M,” a former student of this University, £80,000 in damages after they found that she had been raped in 2013. The criminal case in 2015 had returned a verdict of not proven, so the civil court’s decision to award the damages to Miss M made the decision the first of its kind in Scotland.

Her story is harrowing, but one that we feel must be told in order to energise the discussion around sexual assault, rape, and consent within both St Andrews and society more broadly.

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Indeed, the growing demand for the “Ask for Angela” scheme to be implemented in St Andrews proves that frank discussions about such topics can produce positive results within our community.

We think that “Ask for Angela” would offer greater protection for those who feel uncomfortable on nights out in town and that it would allow bar staff to actively engage in positive bystander intervention, which is currently a grey area.

Student safety should be the top priority in all circumstances, and the work Director of Wellbeing Nick Farrer and Director of Events and Services Adam Powrie are doing in their efforts to bring the scheme here is highly commendable.

A safer St Andrews is essential for creating a positive student environment, allowing everyone to make the most of the vast array of opportunities that our little town has to offer.

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