Candidate for the position of Union President

Image for Andy Paterson

Andy Paterson

Test your mandy - Elect Andy!

Hello there, I’m Andy (he/him). I’m in my fourth year at Stirling and I’m running for Union President! What’s important to me is student well-being. I’ve run the Help Not Harm campaign for drug harm reduction for years now, working with student groups, our own Student Union (SU), our university, and other groups across Scotland. I want to make our community a better place.

  1. Harm Reduction 

This is my bread and butter. For two years I’ve been advocating for the SU and the university to establish policies that work better for students. More specifically, I want to see Stirling implement more funding for counselors to support those at risk of harmful drug or alcohol use. I’d also like to see an expansion to the testing kit program at the SU to make more drug test kits available, access to kits to be anonymous and easier, as well as having kits for determining if a drink has been spiked.

Support for students is crucial, so demanding that the university creates modern harm reduction policies and ring fences funding for our mental health services is my priority.


 

  1. Building upon work the SU has done so far 

Our SU has done some superb work this year when attempting to lessen the impact of the cost of living crisis. The breakfast scheme being implemented, and access to the fridge, microwave, and kettle were important steps in helping students. I want to take this further and set up evenings where students can come together and share a free meal, no questions asked. Students do so much for the university community — it's time for the university community to give a little back.

As well as supporting student wellbeing, the Union should be a platform that amplifies student voices — some examples include campaigns like Better Buses, Get to the Point (a new mental health and disability inclusion campaign) and the continuing support for the UCU and students who support them!

I’d also want to give greater opportunities for growing our community in the Student Union, making the process of hosting events at the union much easier for all societies or groups who want to fundraise or just have a good evening. This is a space for students and it needs to be promoted and used by them! 

 

  1. Making the campus a safe place for all 

Stirling and the university was new to us all at some point and the first thing to do to establish trust with new students is providing a safe environment. 

There needs to be more work done in cementing the university as a safe place for all. Better lighting and reliable transport services are a must. But another vital change involves simplifying the way the Union and the university allows students to report incidents. This will come alongside working with local pubs and clubs, making sure that a safe night out is paramount and more important than any reputational damage that could be incurred by letting abuse go unchallenged.