The University of St Andrews Students’ Association has held a Brexit survey open to all matriculated students.
The survey required students to login although all responses will remain anonymous.
The Brexit survey aims to gather a reflection of student opinion following last year’s referendum result.
President of the Students’ Association Lewis Wood said, “This is the second Brexit survey that the Association has ran because we’d like to give all current students the opportunity to shape the politics that we advocate for.
“Whether students engage with the Union or not, the Students’ Association is the University and nationally recognised representative of St Andrews students, so the statements that we make will be viewed as wholly representative.
“I think that it’s fundamental that we make sure that every student gets a chance to create that message.”
In August of this year, Lord Campbell, the chancellor of the University of St Andrews and former leader of the Liberal Democrats signed a letter to the Financial Times calling for a “halt to Brexit.”
The letter states that, “We see our society, economy, and politics becoming ever more undermined due to the impact of Brexit. We recognise that a narrow majority voted to leave the EU but the disastrous consequences are becoming clearer every day. Even before the UK has left the EU, we face falling living standards, rising inflation, slowing growth, and lower productivity.
Mr Wood also endorsed the letter and called on students to sign a petition set up by the European Movement in Scotland agreeing with the letter’s sentiment and calling for Brexit to be “halted.”
The Saint asked Mr Wood if students could expect the results of the survey to remain apolitical given his personal opinions.
The Association President responded, “Sabbatical officers are there to act in the best interest of the University and the community – that’s why Zach [Davis, Director of Education] and I sit on University Court.
“That’s also why we have democratic elections; if you’d like to change something, run! The power is in student hands, and I was elected on a very Brexit-focused manifesto.
“At the same time, I think that what makes St Andrews so special is our diversity. Our opposing views are what make us such a great academic institution, and what inspire such great debate, so I’m always aware of the need to respect our communities’ opinion.”
In his campaign to become Association President, Mr Wood fought against candidate Lewis Campbell who said that he would use the position of President to be “a vocal opposition to right-wing views.”
Mr Wood responded in a debate, “We need to make sure that we are contributing to a national discourse in regards to things like Brexit, where I would disagree is that we need to take on a specific political agenda.”
Mr Wood further stated, “That’s why we’re doing this survey. If the survey comes back as majority in favour of Brexit, I’ll spend the rest of my year campaigning for it. If it comes back dramatically against Brexit, then I’ll oppose it.
“That’s why we’re running the survey, so that students can directly control, and hold accountable, their representation.
“And to preempt the argument that opposing Brexit is undemocratic – I wasn’t elected by the nation, I was elected by St Andrews students, and they’re the people I’ll represent. So make your voice heard!”