Charlotte Flatley

Communication 

The sabbatical officers act on behalf of the student body and as such I believe that students should know who their elected representatives are and how to get in touch with them. The sabbatical officers work tirelessly to improve your student experience and it is important that it becomes easier for students to learn about the running of the Students’ Association.

  • One way I intend to raise awareness of your elected Sabbatical team is by organizing hall visits during freshers and re-freshers weeks. Whether informal or a scheduled event announced in the freshers’ guide, it is important that new students have the opportunity to meet their Sabbatical Officers.
  • In order to ensure that all students are given the same opportunities to interact firsthand with the elected officials, I believe that it’s important to coordinate events with the Postgraduate Society, the SRC Member for Age Equality and the Townsend Society.
  • Another way I intend to encourage students to learn more about the Students’ Association is by promoting transparency within Association Councils and making changes to the relevant Association Laws.
    • The Association Laws are, in theory, intended to be accessible to all students, but the legal jargon used makes it difficult for students who may be unfamiliar with the terminology to fully understand the scope of the Students’ Association. Whilst the procedures of writing and passing a motion have been put in place as a means of being clear and efficient, I believe that the manner in which the laws are written has inadvertently made the Union appear less accessible to students.

 

Supporting Our Societies and Subcommittees 

With over 160 societies and multiple subcommittees that are open to all matriculated students, there’s something for everyone! As DoSDA I want to act as a support system for societies and subcommittees that contribute to the student experience outside of the classroom. I want to help committees run as efficiently as possible and I hope to achieve this by assisting them in accessing university resources in order to reach their full potential.

  • I want to work with CAPOD to provide leadership workshops for newly-elected Association/SRC/SSC Officers.
    • Being the head of a Students’ Association committee is a lot of responsibility and I believe it is important that elected officials have access to training and support in order to learn what measures need to be taken to efficiently run a committee. This training will hopefully act as additional support to candidates who perhaps have less experience as an executive member of a society or subcommittee.
  • I believe it is also important to offer CAPOD-led workshops for subcommittees that will promote teamwork. 
    • In order to be as efficient as possible, it is essential for committee members to communicate with each other and work together to achieve goals throughout the academic year. Simple tasks can be made unnecessarily difficult when a committee is unable to work cohesively and I want to make sure that all committees are given the opportunity to work on their team building skills. I believe that such training will be ultimately beneficial for all students.
  • Overseeing societies-specific training for the President, Treasurer, and Health & Safety Rep of affiliated societies is another way that the DoSDA can ensure that societies are receiving the necessary training for the projects and events that they intend to pursue throughout the year.
    • Each society and subcommittee within the St Andrews community have differing aims and host various unique events throughout the year, so I believe that it is important that there is training available to meet each individual society or subcommittee need’s. As DoSDA, I would like to continue supporting the Societies Committee’s efforts to provide societies-specific training in order to ensure that societies are given the best possible guidance at the start of the academic year.  
  • It’s also important to maintain the Society Awards, hosted by the Societies Committees.
    • This award ceremony, held in semester 2, is a fantastic avenue for student efforts to be rewarded for their hard work and contributions to student life.
  • CAPOD currently offers a cash prize at the Society Awards that is given to the society whose members have shown the most professionalism by taking part in the Professional Skills Curriculum (PSC).
    • As DoSDA, I would like to make sure this recognition of professionalism among student committees is maintained and that student societies are made aware of the many ways they can become more professional.

 

Your Future

Whether you’re a first year undergraduate or fifth year postgraduate, planning your future after university can be an extremely daunting process. As DoSDA, I want to focus a lot of attention on student development and provide support for students as they begin to make plans for the future.

  • The Career Centre has access to many resources for traditional careers (i.e. finance, law, ...etc.); however, there is not enough information for students who are interested in non-traditional career paths (i.e. arts, media, ...etc.).
    • As DoSDA, I would like to work with the Career Centre to ensure that they continue providing the best opportunities for students by advertising various graduate schemes and internships whilst also actively expanding non-traditional career opportunities, thereby enabling them to give the entire student body more extensive career advice and support.
  • I believe that both the student body and the Careers Centre would benefit from student-based focus groups aimed at finding out what students want from the Careers Centre and how it can better cater to their needs.
    • There are many students who have never visited the Careers Centre while at St Andrews and even some students who have been to the Careers Centre, but found it unhelpful. Although it can provide access to valuable resources for students, I believe there is still work to be done in order to understand what exactly students want to gain from the Career Centre.
  • Another way to find out what students want is by having the Careers Centre actively reach out to student societies.
    • By knowing what each society does within the St Andrews community, the Careers Centre will be able to gain more insight into the kinds of activities that occupy a lot of St Andrews’ students outwith  academic activities. Understanding what students are passionate about can help the Careers Centre learn more about what career paths may be of interest.
  • As DoSDA, I want to continue providing support to student societies that have organized careers events such as the Charities Campaign career panel and the upcoming “Careers in the Arts” On The Rocks event.
    • The well-organized and widely-attended nature of student-run careers events demonstrate that the student body is passionate about their future. I believe that more can be done to reach a wider network of employers and introduce students to different career paths.
  • Whilst many students spend a lot of their spare time as members of different societies, it can nonetheless be difficult to identify what skills you have gained depending on the position you’ve held over the course of the academic year.
    • I believe that many societies would benefit from society-specific workshops aimed at facilitating the process of transferring concrete society experience into valuable employable skills on a CV. 
  • Furthermore, there is a lot of pressure on students to transition straight from university into a career, but it’s important that students are able to recognize how much they’ve accomplished by earning their degree. Not only is ok to not have post-graduation plans, but actually it can be a wonderful opportunity.
    • As DoSDA, I would like to promote alternative paths for students who aren’t sure what to do after university. I believe it would be beneficial to have workshops and seminars that help students identify how they might want to spend their time after graduation. Whether you’re thinking about travelling to a new country or spending a year volunteering with a non-profit, I want to provide students with the opportunity to choose from various post-graduation options.