Joe for DoES
Hello, I’m Joe and I would be delighted to serve as your Director of Events and Services!
As a proud member of the St Andrews student community, I hope to direct the union in its third year post-redevelopment and consolidate its identity. Although you may know me as the DJ from around town, this year I want to redefine what OUR union is and ensure that it reflects the true culture of St Andrews. Given the historic nature of our university and the diversity of our student body, it is natural to expect that OUR union is one that represents this; that is why my campaign is focused on the idea of shaping what is currently a building of glass and steel into a student union that embodies the character, history and tradition of this ancient university and town.
The most important responsibility of the DoES position is event promotion. It is essential that events are sold and promoted to all 8,000+ students in order for events to be successful, fun and profitable. As a DJ, I have had three years of experience promoting successful events in this town at venues such as the Vic, the Rule, Rascals, Club 601, Ma Bells, and the Lizard (RIP) in addition to promoting and playing at many of St Andrews’ balls, events, and fashion shows.
I would like to add another dimension to the already existing events and I want to create more of an atmosphere in the Union by making the space more attractive and welcoming to all students through redesign and refurbishment of existing structures.
As someone who is passionate about music and St Andrews, I am confident I can bring diverse acts for all tastes to this town. I have seven years of music blogging experience and I read blogs daily, and I am certain I can bring popular trendy and up-and-coming acts that have yet to break through to St Andrews for cheaper than any artist that is currently topping the charts. Booking more popular acts also requires someone who diligently looks at the lineups of festivals and knows the touring schedules of acts, in order to coordinate a night to play when they may already be in Scotland. Pink Floyd opened Venue 1 of the previous Union back in 1973, so there is no reason why we cannot bring bigger and more popular acts to this town! Having worked at the Edinburgh Festival I am well equipped for such an event organizing role.
I have a number of exciting and original ideas to spice up student nightlife and day to day activities, including events out of town that ‘break the bubble’. With the distinct lack of live music on offer in town, I would love to help set up more events during the day and weekly live music nights with the great local talent we have in Fife. These proposals would be in addition to a ‘Raisin Rager’ event on the evening of Raisin Sunday, to help make great memories for our students in a responsible and safe way. On top of this, I would like to test out a variety of new activities for the day, including laser tag and mini golf.
BREAK THE BUBBLE BUSSES:
These would be busses that students would sign up for in advance to go for nights out in places like Dundee in Glasgow. Because transportation back to St Andrews late at night is often an issue this would be a great way to provide more options to St Andrews students in terms of nightlife and at a reasonable price. This would also provide our many international students with a great opportunity to see more of Scotland and have a more holistic experience while abroad.
Although the bus transport would be organized by the Union, it is important to note that Students would be responsible for themselves and their safety once they disembark from the bus transportation. To mitigate potential safety risks to students, signup would require a phone number and students would be encouraged to stay in the vicinity of certain pre-determined friends with a ‘buddy system’.
If successful, this idea can be expanded upon to include more busses and a greater variety of nights and departure times.
This would be an event held in the evening of Raisin Sunday after everyone takes that midday Raisin snooze after the busy morning. Oftentimes the evening of Raisin Sunday turns into mayhem with people scattered at loud house parties across town, a Raisin event would act as a safe and inclusive way for the students to stay united throughout the day, while also keeping students safe by keeping them off the streets where they could be run over by cars and annoy the local populace due to noise and drunken ruckus. Raisin is a tradition unique to St Andrews, and the Union should run a well-organized event that includes the entire student body on this day.
MAKE THE UNION APPEAL TO MORE STUDENTS:
I want to add more of an atmosphere to the new building, this can be done in many ways; we need to end this era of blank walls and office lighting- these are not typically what you want to find when you go out! I have many ideas, big and small, such as dimming the lights more in the Main Bar area, applying some cool wallpaper in certain areas, and putting more pictures on the walls to create more of a ‘vibe’ and solidify more character in the Union’s bar and dancing areas.
In addition to this, I would like the different bars within the Union to have more unique purposes and atmospheres. One idea is to make the drinks in the Beacon Bar better quality, and the drinks in the Main Bar as cheap as possible. This way we can appeal to a larger market and the cocktail bar can compete with rivals in town.
The Beacon Bar would be the kind of place you’d go for a relaxed post-dinner drink and the Main Bar is where you would go for those 1:30 AM tequila shots with friends.
This end goal can be achieved by investing more money into staff and bartender training, and also by using better quality ingredients. If successfully implemented, increased revenue from Beacon Bar sales may be able to partially subsidize drinks in the Main Bar further in the long term.
I also would like to explore ways to diversify the events that the students have available to them. I can do this by creating more daytime events, organizing weekly nights for live music, booking stand-up comedians from around the UK to perform, and by bringing in student and local bands to play in the Bars more often. Club 601 was designed with the main priority of being a flexible space, so it should be utilized for more types of events than it is used for at the moment. Ideas I have to bring in diverse events include hosting art shows for contemporary artists in the area, setting up a temporary mini golf course for a select weekend, and bringing laser tag events on certain nights to Club 601.
I understand the process of how to book artists, comedians, performers and other acts in the entertainment industry. I am confident that I can book popular acts of all sorts and for all tastes to the Union efficiently and at a relatively low cost. This is something I have successfully achieved in the past while at my previous school as Head of the Entertainment Committee, managing an annual budget of tens of thousands of dollars for the purposes of student entertainment.
The Edinburgh Fringe is a unique opportunity that the Union should take better advantage of in terms of attracting acts. The Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and takes place only an hour away. Even though the festival only lasts for the duration of August, many of the Fringe acts spend the month of September touring other parts of the UK and performing nearby. Bringing some of the world’s best comedians and theatrical productions during early September, and especially for Fresher’s Week, should be the norm.
We should be proud of the events at our union but that also means investing in and updating what we currently have. My experiences in this town make me well prepared to fulfill and achieve the duties required as your DoES.
Thank you for your time, and Vote Joe!