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Audrey Sherr for AU President ~ MANIFESTO
My key points:
Communication (interclub and with the AU President)
My year as fencing captain and club co-president has taught me that even with enormous amounts of support from within your club, it is not always easy to make the right decision. I believe no one is better suited to help with issues like these than someone who is experiencing the exact same thing, at the exact same time.
Next year I want to focus on better interclub communication so that individuals who share the same or similar roles across all sports club committees feel as if they have someone else to discuss their issues with in real time.
I want the lessons learned from year to year to be retained to keep Saints Sport moving forward. I plan to:
? Work with every sports club to create an online platform for individual committee roles to talk through issues that they or their club may be having.
? Allow those who share the same role in different clubs to offer advice and suggestions from their own experiences.
? Create opportunities for new and unexpected collaborations between sports clubs who don’t typically interact with one another (and added publicity for both clubs!)
? Increase drop-in office hours of the AU President, and increase office hour publicity.
? Have bi-weekly or monthly update meetings with captains and club presidents to ensure that the needs of individual sports clubs are being met.
Mental Health and Athlete Welfare
I believe that the mental health and well-being of athletes should be one of the AU’s top priorities. The addition of an in-house wellbeing officer at the Sports Center this past year has been a huge step, but I believe there is still much more the AU can do.
Sport has meant the world to me whilst at St Andrews. Having met the fencing club committee on my visiting day to the uni, and officially joining in freshers’ week my first year, I simply cannot imagine my university career without it. My case is just one of many.
Poor mental health for university students is a persistent issue - one very dear to my heart, and I will make it my personal mission try help any issues of isolation,
deteriorating mental health, and harassment within a team or sport setting. My main goals are to:
? Increase public awareness of available mental services specific to the Sports Center (Thursday sessions with the Athletic Union wellbeing advisor for example).
? Begin the year by providing Scottish Mental Health training for new committee members, and provide a second session at the start of semester 2.
? Improve lines of communication between the sports club committees and the Director of Wellbeing.
Improved transparency has been one of the AU’s ongoing goals for several
years, but still can be improved. The key issues I want to work on next year are:
? AU Budget changes
? Hold a meeting ?specifically? for incoming and outgoing club treasurers
(ideally before the summer break) to ensure continuity and understanding
with the new budget structure. ? Performance Sport Criteria
? Work with Ian Gaunt (Deputy Director) to discuss a clear outline of the Performance sport criteria, and how this criteria can be meet.
? Non-BUCS Teams
? Monthly round-table meetings with the captains and presidents of
non-BUCS sports (especially those who do not use the sports center) to
discuss goals for their clubs.
? Work closely with the Department of Sport to ensure these needs are met.
Some additional essential points I will focus on are:
Although ?undeniably? biased in my belief, I think everyone should do a sport. Equally I realise it can feel daunting and even dangerous to attempt a new sport alone.
In addition, across my four years at the sports center and through my involvement with the AU forum, I have become keenly aware of the concerns facing smaller sports clubs. With regard to improved inclusivity I plan to:
? Improve publicity for Sports Center services, such as ?Saints Fitness Pal,? to make new students more comfortable at the gym.
? Increase frequency of give-it-a-go sessions to both improve membership for individual clubs and university-wide involvement in sport.
? Champion the voice of smaller sports clubs with regular meeting designed specifically for their needs.
Gym usage and Recreational sport
Particularly since the recent renovation, gym crowding during peak times has become a serious issue. I want everyone who uses the gym - regardless of whether or not they are specifically on a sports team - to have the best experience possible. I want to:
? Work with the AU and Sports Center staff to minimize lines and waiting times outside the gym.
? Work to increase the capacity and availability of the most popular classes.
? Put unused spaces toward alternatives for popular activities (ex: coordinate running groups for the track instead of treadmills, especially when it’s sunny!)
Transport has become persistent and seemingly unrelenting problem. I propose it be dealt with in a few ways:
? Run more frequent and better publicised “test” days to ensure every club has at least one (ideally more) certified driver.
? Set aside an afternoon towards the end of pre-season to run tests with new students and potential new drivers.
? Provide incentives for certified drivers who volunteer to drive other clubs to matches and tournaments.
Building off both Fiona’s desire for increased levels of equality across all sports clubs, and on the recent restructuring of the AU’s budget, I want to see clubs with limited to no budget be supported in their efforts to gain more funding. I want to:
? Work with the development office to come up with ways to fundraise that suit the needs of each club.
? Meet with individual clubs to customize a fundraising plan specific to their sport (More ideas like the Boat Club’s “Row-a-thon”, or the Jiu Jitsu “Slam-a-thon” applied to other clubs).
Thank you for taking the time to read my manifesto. I hope my ideas have earned your vote!