The Union's accommodation team exists to help all students in private flats or halls of residence with any problems they might encounter during their time in St Andrews. By running the How To Rent guide and survey, the Landlord/Tenant Charter and the How To Leave guide, we give students the advice they need and help to keep landlords in check.
SRC Accommodation Officer
Affordability, fair renting, lack of accommodation, residential fees, illegal landlords, vegetarian food in halls... this position could not be more varied.
As with most SRC position, the remit of this role is fairly open, offering you the opportunity to make it your own. However, it also entails important issues and responsibilities that you will be expected to work and get actively involved in.
This year, the committee launched a new tradition of organizing a ‘Right to Accommodation’ week consisting of a variety of informative as well as social events. This week is held in order to facilitate information about private renting, to promote our rights as tenants and address issues faced by students, as well as to give everyone an excuse to have a bit of fun. The themed week is ideally scheduled in the second half of semester one, and you are free to work with other student societies and SRC committees to make it a success.
In St Andrews, a focus on affordability within accommodation is always crucial. To address this issue, we have launched a ‘Rents Freeze’ initiative, encouraging landlords to sign up to a pledge to freeze rents in their rented properties for the current year. We still bear the brunt of the escalating costs of accommodation in St Andrews, hence it is within your remit to collaborate with other SRC members to deliver campaigns focusing on affordability.
Accommodation is sometimes surrounded by shadows, and students need to stay informed about what is currently happening in this sector. Last year, we have actively campaigned to oppose the HMO moratorium and reached out to the student body with a large-scale petitioning campaign. Faced with the hall rents increases this year, we have campaigned in halls to challenge this decision, and later communicated to students the wider picture of this situation. You are at your disposition to use any student media to shed some light on issues surrounding accommodation, as well as to get creative in getting students actively involved.
As an Officer, you will be chairing fortnightly accommodation committee meetings, attended by the two SRC Members on your committee, the Accommodation Advocate and the Association President. Many of the responsibilities in the domaine of accommodation lie within the duties of the Association President, who negotiates on these matters with commercially sensitive bodies and executive boards across University. Your role is the one of a supporter and a mediator, as well as an active campaigner.
Besides your Officer duties, you will also sit on SRC meetings held ever two weeks, where a variety of issues and topics is discussed. As an important body of student representation, the meetings provide you with the opportunity to submit motions and have a say on policy implemented by the Union. As such, you will get a chance to have a say on issues beyond the scope of your role, so use your role well!
SRC Member for Private Accommodation
This student member will work closely with local landlords and estate agents, in particular focusing on the Landlord/Tenant Charter (a code of conduct between student tenants and their landlords) and how to promote this as best practise within the sector.
You will also work closely with our part time member of staff, Eleanor, to improve communication between students and landlords in St Andrews. Alongside the Accommodation Officer, you can help to update and advertise the How to Rent guide to the student body to ensure everyone has a better renting experience.
SRC Member for University Accommodation
This member will work closely with hall committees, Accommodation Services and Residential & Business Services who manage University halls and other properties. You will organise the monthly Senior Student forum that allows issues and concerns to be raised and subsequently liaise with the relevant groups to ensure these issues or concerns are dealt with.
There is great scope to work with the University to improve hall life for students - whether that's improving the way students are allocated into halls, helping hall committees organise events and how wardens and other staff are involved. You will work on a variety of issues with a diverse group of people and have the ability to influence the direction of University accommodation for the future.
If you are interested in running for any of these positons, please don't hestitate to contact this years members or Freddie on email@example.com for more information, or to set up an appointment to chat about it.