What made you apply for the role?
I decided to run for President because I believe I have a lot to offer to role, I am hardworking, dedicated, approachable individual. To say that I struggled to get accommodation for this academic year would be an understatement. I originally agreed to stay in owner-occupied accommodation with a group of girls and while there we weren’t being treated like tenants, but rather we were treated like unwanted guests leaving us with no other option but to move. We’ve had 10 years of a housing crisis, we hear so much about it on the media, but we see very little action, and while we hear about social housing, affordable housing, build to rent in the national debate – we don’t hear enough about student housing and accommodation except in August once a year. I’d to ask myself if I wanted to just complain about students issue’s such as accommodation or if I wanted to step up and be the voice to start putting students first.
Talk us through your manifesto, and the main thing you’ll work on if elected.
My manifesto focuses on the key issues affecting students across campus; accommodation, mental health, promoting the Irish Language, decreasing cost of repeat exams, safety, and additional study spaces throughout campus. The main thing I would focus on if elected is student accommodation. The lack of student accommodation is universal and results in too many students dropping out of courses through no fault of their own. We need a slick P.R. campaign to raise awareness about how serious an issue this is. This includes protests and marches while also getting students to highlight the struggles their having on every local media outlet with a SU team supporting that work at a national level.
What do you think the greatest obstacle will be in your term, if elected?
The greatest obstacle is engagement – while students often engage with SU events, too many do not engage with SU campaigns and services. Our students need to know to the Students Union executive committee is there to support them in any difficulties or challenges they face but also that there is a role we all can play to drive change at a national level. SU campaigns are only as strong as the number of students who take part in them, which is why we need to engage with our entire student population to strengthen movements to tackle the costs of education and make our campus more inclusive.
What is something you hope to carry on from the previous officer, if elected?
As President I hope to carry on Sai’s upbeat personality and his can do attitude throughout my term as President if I’m fortunate enough to be elected. Sai’s weekly updates was a fantastic initiative to keep students informed on the progress of our students union. Sai also started addressing students at their conferring ceremony as President which I hope to continue.
Finally why do you think people should vote for you?
If elected I will make our union as inclusive as it can be, we are a very diverse university and I will be a voice for all students. I’m a dedicated and hard-working individual who is very approachable which will be very important in order to increase engagement with our union. But above all, I believe that it is time that our University put students first ahead of any other priority – we need a Union that all our students will engage in. Therefore, I’m humbly asking for your number 1 vote on March 2nd.