Paloma Paige’s manifesto spends little time focusing on policies that she would implement if re-elected, and instead alludes to past achievements as justification for your vote. She references vague terms but offers few concrete plans. Often she confuses distinct policy ideas with pre-requisites of the job. A year on, her optimism still comes across as naivety.
Strategy and Vision
She opens with her commitment to sustainability as being “a guiding principle of the Union” and refers to her “completely overhauling the Union’s Sustainability Policy”. She does not say how this principle will influence other policies.
Ms Paige reiterates the crucial buzzwords of transparency and dialogue but offers little evidence as to how she will represent student views to the “world-wide press” nor on how she will avoid undermining the qualities that make the University unique. She says she will grow the number of merit-based and corporate scholarships with alumni.
National and Local Representations
Ms Paige’s main pledge is to re-establish the Scottish Presidents’ Forum to ease collaborations on national issues. She then reiterates the importance of the President being engaged on community issues and the political power of students. Ms Paige refers to her postponement of the community councils elections but does not say how she will build on this.
Ms Paige portrays herself as an advocate on issues of University accommodation, specifically on growing the funding for bursaries — an area she has no direct control over. The HMO cap debate has stifled the discussion over private accommodation, but she does not mention what other policies or situations should be addressed. She says she will lobby for more affordable private and University accommodation and also more rental choice. This would mean effectively solving the housing crisis.
Widening access and participation
Ms Paige says she will continue to represent the diversity of St Andrews, but yet again fails to say how. She says the University needs to increase the financial support available to international students in regards to Brexit, an issue where she has no direct authority as Association President.