What sort of country do you want to live in? What are your hopes, your dreams, your ambitions? Here at St Andrews University Students For Independence (STAUSFI) we have a dream. We want to live in a nation which is internationalist, not xenophobic. A nation which celebrates diversity, not which fears it. A nation which is one of opportunity for all regardless of class, gender, belief or ethnicity. This is the Scotland we want to see. This is the Scotland we want to live in. This is the future of an independent Scotland, and why we advocate and campaign for Scottish independence.
In its current incarnation, STAUSFI was forged in the fires of the independence movement as an alliance between the student societies of the Scottish Greens and the Scottish National Party in 2013. However, our history as a pro-independence society goes back to at least the 1960s, and we boast that before he became First Minister, Alex Salmond held the far more honourable role of being the Convenor of our student movement. We are a cross-party student movement whose members have a wide variety of political beliefs. If you come to one of our events, you will see Marxists chatting with Capitalists, Social Democrats debating with Liberals, students mixing with members of the community. There is one thing that unites us above all else: we are all members of STAUSFI because we believe in Scottish independence.
Here at STAUSFI we host a wide variety of events. From speakers to baking sales, from pub quizzes to Scottish film nights, we have something for everyone! This semester we have had the pleasure of hosting esteemed guests such as Stephen Gethins, MP for North-East Fife and Shadow International Affairs and Europe spokesperson, Ann Verner, councillor for St Andrews and Strathkinness, and Professor Sir Tom Devine, who gave a fascinating lecture on the origins, significance and impact of the 1997 Referendum which created the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly.
Aside from our political events, we also try to contribute positively to town-gown relations. The result of this has been a positive relationship between the local SNP and Scottish Green branches, with students playing an active role in each. From the start of this year, we agreed as a society to fundraise for a different local charity each semester. In sum, STAUSFI members can be described as active citizens, contributing positively to both the university and the town, and living out the values that we believe an independent Scotland should have.
In addition to being pro-independence, we are also a pro-European movement. We believe that Scotland as an independent nation has an important role to play in Europe and that Scotland’s national interests are best served by being part of a reformed European Union. To this end, we have hosted events such as our Referendum Social, where students could discuss the recent events in Catalonia. We have Ross Greer MSP and Scottish Greens spokesperson on Europe and International Affairs, speaking on Europe and Brexit from a Green perspective later this month. We plan to engage further with pro-European societies as well as inviting speakers from all backgrounds and politics who advocate for Scotland’s membership in the European Union.
STAUSFI is a pro-independence, pro-European society. More importantly, it is a student-led society whose focus is on you, the students and people of St Andrews. We are passionate about introducing others to Scotland’s unique culture and history; whether it is lectures, ceilidhs or films, we have something for everyone! We aim to engage more with other political and non-political societies to help solve the challenges that students face here in St Andrews. Whether it is the high cost of living for students, the challenges of Brexit, or improving transport links, STAUSFI is a society that will challenge these problems and contribute solutions.
STAUSFI is a society that looks to be the change it wants to see in the world and we want you to be a part of it. We look forward to welcoming you to our society and helping you play your part in creating a flourishing, successful, independent Scotland!