SSC Charities Officer – George Parker 6/10
RAG Week, Race 2, and Jailbreak are all cash cows of the highest order. It’s difficult to screw them up, and to be fair, George hasn’t. Her report contains exactly the right number of buzzwords (cohesive, impressive, synergy) to make it have zero actual value and she will clearly do well at KPMG or somewhere similar. She does however ruin it by closing an official document with “#chazza4lyf”. Dock that woman a point.
SSC Societies Officer – Courtney Lewis 9/10
Courtney is probably one of the busiest members of any committee in St Andrews. There are a staggering number of societies affiliated to the Union (136), and every single one has almost weekly dealings with the Socs Committee which Courtney chairs. She has ably marshalled the move to the new Societies portal, dealing with #redev, and has sat through some of the longest and dullest meetings in the building. Why no 10? There is still a lot of red tape involved with running a society, and as a two-year President, I wish there was less.
SSC Debates Officer – Will Lord 8/10
One thing you always know you’ll get with a Debates Officer is eloquence; Will maintains that stereotype, and debates have remained as popular as ever under his governorship, and the £2.5k Accenture sponsorship deal is worthy of some praise. I have worked in fundraising for debating and it’s a tough sell. St Andrews is world-famous for debating, and continues to be so. (Rare sincerity from you there… Ed.)
SSC Performing Arts Officer (Mermaids) – David Patterson 6.5/10
12 months ago, when DP was first elected to Mermaids officer, I bet that he would be President 13 months later. Hence it was with no surprise that I read his name on the nominations sheet; whether he wins or not is yet to come, but his performance as Mermaids officer is likely to influence the result. I have heard few complaints about the man who pretends to know everyone, so it’s difficult for me to mark him down, although I will do so on the basis of three things: he budgeted for free wine at EVERY event, he refused to sell Xmas Ball tickets online, and more on a personal level, his FB profile picture is of him posing at the Holocaust memorial in Berlin, which I object to on principle.
SSC Music Officer (Music is Love) – Anna Merryfield 8/10
Music is Love is perhaps the most niche thing the Union does officially. MIL does produce some really good varied music nights, and I’ve no doubt Anna is a bit part of that. It treads that difficult line between populist and hipster, getting the numbers in but also making sure that those in half-cardigans and lenseless spectacles don’t feel too mainstream. Anna says she wouldn’t change anything she’s done this year. That’s ballsy.
SSC Broadcasting Officer (St Andrews Radio) – Oscar Swedrup 3/10
This man is currently one of the people I work for, which makes this a little awkward. His opening line of his AGM report – “A year of quality, community and creativity” – is as cheesy as it is untrue. STAR is still as closed a book as it ever was; the majority of students have no idea what it is, those with shows on it are given almost no training or backing in their own ideas, and the quality of output is atrocious. STAR committee seems to be more focused on making sure they enjoy their own parties than building a brand. The latest “promotional” video, which overstepped ‘misguided’ into the realms of ‘bizarre’, is an excellent example of the lack of understanding of what STAR requires.
SSC Entertainments Officer (Ents) – Fiona Woodhall 4/10
This is often one of the most under-celebrated members of any Union committee, requiring technical knowledge, physical strength, and tremendous resilience. With #redev in full flow, there can have been few harder years to run Ents Crew. Having Daniel Palmer (former Head of Ents) as DoES made life a lot easier, but the difficulties of running a multipurpose nightclub on a building site run into the hundreds. Dealing with endless other societies and committees trying to realise impossible dreams must also be a serious challenge – Fiona’s reference to RAG Week’s “novel takes on classic events” is too thinly veiled not to be a dig…That being said, the turnout to most of the Ents events this year has been devastatingly low, and that must be laid at someone’s door. Tough job, tough score.
SSC Member Without Portfolio – Keith Cordrey 10/10
This post is something of a joke (who can forget Henry Hayes’ “I honestly don’t care” campaign) and Keith treated as such. His report is worth reading in full.
“12 months ago I spoke of a prophecy in which an ancient man would return when a worthy member without portfolio appeared. The ancient man would return on a pure white horse with a portfolio of the utmost importance and made of fine Italian leather at a time when the Association was most in need. I believed I could be that member without portfolio to fulfil the ancient prophecy. But apparently I’m not, ’cause he never showed up. So instead I read some minutes and wrote some tweets.”
The Students’ Associations report can be read in full here.