Chloe Hill has been elected as next year’s Association President. She will be the first female President in 13 years, she will preside over massive Union redevelopment and she has voiced arguably some of the most radical and wide-ranging policies of the campaign. We talked to her a week after her dramatic election victory.
Firstly, Chloe thanks a lot for joining us.
And congratulations once again on being elected the first female Association President-Elect in 13 years.
[bites bottom lip and gives a hum of worried excitement]
Has it sunk in yet?
Yeah, yesterday the realisation that I was in St. Andrews for another year kind of hit me.
And that’s a good thing?
That’s fine, yeah.
How has your first week as President-Elect been? What’s been the first order of business?
Oh, I left! I went to Edinburgh for the week. It gets a bit intense in campaign week, and I had loads of work to catch up on. So I went to stay with some friends and get on with it a bit.
We know you have big plans for next year, but what’s the one thing that this time next year you’d love to be able to say that you achieved as Association President?
That’s a hard question. This time next year I would really like the University to be charging [RUK Students] four years for the price of three.
There has been some criticism over that policy in particular; people have said that it’s not doable. How would you respond to those criticisms?
I mean, I’m not sure why people think it’s not doable, seeing that it’s already been done at Edinburgh and Aberdeen [both of which charge £9,000 per year, in line with St. Andrews]. I think sometimes people think St. Andrews is different — I don’t think we are as different as people think we are. [If St. Andrews were to do this] then it’s the same as being at any top UK University outside of Scotland.
The Union is of course about to undergo massive redevelopment next year, and you’ve said that you don’t consider that to be a top priority.
Well it’s not that it’s not a top priority, I didn’t see it as a campaigning policy. It’s not like we can change it — it’s happening. So I don’t see why candidates were trying to say it was a top policy; the redevelopment is happening, you need Sabbs that are able to keep it going and make sure that corners aren’t cut and that it’s done to the expectation that we have of it, but you have to do that in the job, so it wasn’t like it was a ‘maybe’, like it was a policy we could debate, it just is happening.
That said, how do you plan to manage it?
I think a lot of that is going to be Dan [Palmer, Director of Events and Services]’s job, because a lot of it is going to be making sure students aren’t restricted in terms of venue space while it’s happening. I was Community Relations Officer last year on the SRC and so have a lot of contact with the church halls and the town venues that I don’t think students use enough, and I’m really hoping that we’re going to be able to work out some way of using those more, particularly because it’ll be a good way of students going out into the community a bit more; [of the town] seeing how much students have to offer rather than keeping it within University buildings. But also there just is — like, there are a large number of venues we could be using in the town. So that’s one of the ways that I’m hoping we can offset it just for the time that we’ve only got half the Union.
With regards to the rest of the Sabbs, do you think the right people got the jobs?
I think the candidates that have been elected are fantastic, I’m really looking forward to it.
What are your plans for the Easter break? Is it straight into work or time for a break?
I…have not started my dissertation. So, I really do need to do that, yeah. My Mum is coming up to the West Coast of Scotland for a couple of days at the end of the holiday which I’m really looking forward to, but I’ve got to do some proper work now.
Chloe Hill, thank you and good luck.
Thank you very much.
Image by Stuart McMillan