My name is José Antonio Orellana Aviñó and I hope to work for you as your next Director of
Events and Services. It has been my long term belief that the Union is a fundamental part of
the St Andrews experience, and I am confident that I can enhance the experience of all
Two of my greatest passions are music and mixology. I have been classically trained in violin
from a very early age, which has given me the opportunity to play in several orchestras and
be exposed to a range of musical genres, meaning that I will hold a variety of events catering
to everyone’s taste. Most relevant to this position is the fact that, as Concertmaster of the
Salvador Giner Youth Orchestra, I had an important role in arranging venues, concerts and
tours which permitted us to raise money for charity and to fund our activities.
In case that made some voters think I am only going to organise classical music events, fear
no more. I also had a stint at 2,500 person capacity club in Valencia, operating between 2
and 3 nights per week in one of the city’s most touristic locations. This allowed me to learn
the ins and outs of procuring artists and acts, managing bar stocks, and working with
bartenders, wait staff, security guards and other personnel.
I am also passionate about drinks –alcoholic or not - because I believe every drink is an
experience. For this reason, I believe drinks should be tied to the Union event of the week,
thus creating a more dynamic atmosphere and getting students excited for upcoming events.
Theme Weeks – Increasing Engagement
The BOP this year has been a success in attendance and revenue. I firmly believe the idea of
having a different theme for the BOP every week brings something unique to the table and
allows more societies and students to connect with the Union. For this reason, I believe every
week should be organised around it. The whole week would be, in essence, a buildup to the
Whether the BOP of the week would be themed around a time era, a country, a social group,
or a practice, I would associate and promote an ingredient reminiscent of said theme. Any
drink containing said ingredient would be discounted in the main bar, thus increasing sales
and revenue during the week; moreover, I would personally oversee the creation of two to
three new cocktails for Beacon Bar that would work as an element of BOP promotion on a
weekly rotation. On top of this, the Main Bar would have the pertinent decorations, so that
students would view Mondays with the excitement of discovering a new Union.
Finally, and due to the previous policies, as the majority of students would be aware of the
BOP theme, I would offer a prize to the best dressed person. The prize would entail a free
table for the winner and four or five of their best friends with a bottle of alcohol and
refreshments for next week’s BOP. This would effectively encourage students to engage in a
more active manner with the Union, and thus allow us to provide a better experience.
Beacon Bar – A New Experience
This year Beacon has seen an increase in the number of cocktails on offer, which has brought
some much needed variety. However, I believe Beacon presents hugely untapped potential as
a completely different atmosphere and experience to the rest of the Union. For this reason,
and to complement the cocktails working on rotation, I would install light dimmers and
provide live music which could range from jazz, to blues, to country to classical.
Effectively, what this would achieve is providing students with an alternative option, another
experience within the Union, therefore catering to more tastes and increasing attendance.
Club 601 – First Choice for a Night Out
Club 601 was a huge improvement from Venue 1; the renovation was what the Union needed.
However, other venues within St Andrews are still favoured by many students, which is
something I believe can be changed through the combination of Union-wide and 601-specific
Since we would already provide a free table and entry to 601 for the winner of the BOP prize,
I would set up four further tables that could be bought through the St Andrews SA App and
encourage students to consciously make Club 601 their first choice for a night out, which
would result in an increase in numbers.
Your Union App
The Union is a space full of possibilities to make us students fond of our experience in St
Andrews. However, many a time students are not aware of everything the Union has to offer
- a good example of this is the St Andrews SA App, which many students are not yet aware
I believe two things are needed to make this App go viral in St Andrews: a good marketing
campaign and the addition of features that would increase connectivity and awareness
within the student community.
When students first register, they would have to fill in a quick questionnaire about their
interests –e.g. music genres, video games, theatre, dance... -, which would allow them to
receive a notification every time a new event that matches any of their interests is organized.
Moreover, they would be able to send nudges to their friends announcing they’re interested
in said event.
Similarly, working closely with societies and committees is a key part of the DoES’ role. For
this reason, Union affiliated societies would have the option of selling all their tickets
through the App, which, with the creation of a secure database, would allow students to buy
tickets with a couple of taps on their phone.
For the same reason, we would include a feedback system after events based on ratings and
comments. Compared to the current situation the DoES has to rely on ticket sales and vibes
to gauge interest, this feature would increase interactivity and allow us to improve the
quality of the events with the direct feedback of the students, our priority. Finally, this App
would also allow students and committees to see the available spaces for events, their fees
and to directly message the DoES with their ideas.
The marketing effort should start even before Freshers’ Week, focusing on telling students
the advantages such as connectivity and interactivity of downloading the App as opposed to
just using the Your Union website. Then I would promote it in halls and during daytime
events in the Union, creating a compact marketing effort that would allow the App to work as
a St Andrews’ staple.
Freshers’ Week is the perfect time to get students –freshers and non-freshers alike- engaged
with the Union. And there are two ways to do this: big-sized events and a range of genres to
cater to everyone’s taste.
Every night should be dedicated to a different music genre –house, pop, R&B, rap, trap...-
and for every single one of them a list would be created with two sections: big names and up
and coming artists. This would give us the highest probability of booking artists that a high
percentage of the St Andrews population would know and want to see. But moreover,
concerts happening in Scotland and Northern England around those dates would also be of
importance, since it would be very likely that big artists would offer a discount to perform in
St Andrews, which would students to see acts that the Union would not normally be able to
Apart from night events, probably the biggest attraction of Freshers’ Week, the Union would
also provide supporting acts in the evening. These acts would range from the already
traditional ceilidh to plays or comedians. Finally, during the day I would introduce ‘happy
hours’ and other activities that would encourage students to join us in the Union to learn
about all the possibilities the Union has to offer to improve their St Andrews experience and
re-bond with each other or for the first time after the summer.
The Union is there for us, it is our centre of leisure and congregation in many occasions; it is
there to provide the ultimate St Andrews experience. For this reason, all these ideas are
based around a common theme – providing a range of experiences that will cater to more
students, make them better informed and increase engagement with the Union. This will
start a cycle where by increasing engagement we will be able to bring better and bigger acts
and so on.
Most importantly I would say it’s important that we all vote in this election because it is Our
Union Our Choice.