VPSA has always been a bit of an odd position, cobbled together from somewhat unrelated areas, a Frankenstein of democratic oversight. Responsibility for societies and the vaguely sinister sounding “activities” (we were always left out of organised fun as a child) is clear from the Ronseal principle. However, unlike the trusty woodstain, there’s more to the job than is initially obvious. Student welfare, as well as promoting liberation and equality campaigns are also within the remit. The issue for candidates is trying to work all these broad concerns into one coherent, related set of ideas. Let’s see how they’re doing…
Oh and block booking day. Dear god someone please sort out block booking day.
Margus “My Favourite Prodigy Album Is Fat Of The” Lind
With experience on societies council and as President of Salsa Soc (we assume the dancing style, not the chunky sauce), Margus has probably the most emphasis on societies out of the three hopefuls. He is promising to “create a personal connection with the societies” by communicating more often with society committees and building up smaller ones. He is also promoting societies as a way of building support networks for students and breaking down cultural barriers.
We do have to mention, however, a bit of a clanger he dropped at the debate. Whilst the subject of a full time Womens’ Officer was being discussed (no, we’re not sure how we ended up there), Margus responded by asking “then why don’t we have a Chinese Officer?”. We understand his point about the difficulties representing all sections of the student population, and are willing to give him some benefit of the doubt. However this doesn’t take away from the fact that after he said this, eyebrows were raised so quickly and violently that we think a few eyeballs popped out.
Margus is easily the least hackish person running, in a year where “not being a hack” is something a lot of people are running on. Despite his fumble at the hustings, can he rally to put over his pragmatic platform?
Eve “Not A Dr I Presume” Livingston
Current station manager at Fresh Air, Eve will be hoping to breathe fresh air into EUSA. (See that grade A wordplay shit? That’s why we’re the biggest politics blog on the scene). Eve is very much pushing the welfare aspect of the position, pushing for improvements to the counselling service, more outreach and education on sexual health, and going after the infamous dickbags that are the landlords of Edinburgh.
There were some doubts raised at the debate regarding policies to introduce a student budgeting app and free fitness classes, specifically regarding the cost. EUSA’s finances have been solid as a Jenga tower made from blancmange in an earthquake recently (although a surplus is expected this year, presumably driven by the mass consumption of curly fries), and it was asked how Eve planned to fund these projects. Personally, we recommend that the sabbs learn to play the bagpipes and busk on the Royal Mile, tourists eat that shit up.
Welfare and mental health are more prominent this year than they maybe ever have been, even in VPAA campaigns where you wouldn’t traditionally expect to find them. By putting it front and centre of her campaign, we may see a new Eve of how students’ wellbeing is treated (Again, see them puns? Gold. Solid gold).
Oh man. So as many of you will be aware by now, Tommer is running not only for VPSA, but also VP Services. Someone running for two sabb position at the same time has never happened before, is sort of confusing, and makes comparison to Margus and Eve a bit difficult. Tommer maintains that he can fulfil his manifesto from either position, and that the current sabbatical roles are in need of reform. He has also said he doesn’t know what he would do should he win both elections, leading to speculation of a shock twist ending at the results night where we discover Tommer’s identical twin/clone/alternate universe version of himself.
Tommer could well claim to be the most seasoned hack in the race, with 2 year’s experience in EUSA, and also as an NUS delegate. One area of policy where we can make direct comparisons to the other candidates are societies, with redevelopment of Pleasance to make it the “hub of societies” a headline pledge, and emphasising the benefits of volunteering. Welfare is another area where there a clear parallels to be drawn – he suggests setting up weekly welfare related events, getting a dentist in Potterrow (before it becomes a concert hall, presumably) and shares Eve’s focus on sexual health.
Student politics has a way of surprising you just as soon as you think you know it all, and Tommer’s doubling up on sabb campaigns has caught pretty much everyone by surprise. It is also a huge gamble, with no-one sure how it will play out at the voting booths (which are actually a web page, but work with us here). Tommer is trying to convince people that he deserves a mandate to overhaul EUSA, as well as being fully committed to a role when he’s not sure what that role will be. We live in interesting times, dear reader…