What made you apply for the role?
I applied for VP for education because I have really enjoyed the work, I have been doing this year in my role as postgrad taught officer. I have enjoyed connecting with, representing, and working with students within the SU and externally, and fighting for their rights. Some of the things I did this year include attending the cost-of-living protest in Eyre Square, attend a protest regarding the working conditions and treatment of PHD students, attending USI meetings discussing these issues, organising events with students, collaborating with postgrad soc, and hosting class rep councils. Two things that came from our council meetings was a pop HPV vaccine clinic and a couple of the student services having stands at socs day, this increased awareness for physical and mental health issues. Becoming VP for education I would get to continue to do this work, in a greater capacity.
Talk us through your manifesto, and the main thing you’ll work on if elected.
My manifesto includes a bit about me, my name, where I’m from and my educational background. It includes experiences I have had including the role of postgrad taught officer and other voluntary roles such as a ATS mentor, Céim leader, and class rep to name a few, but also quite simply my experience as a student. I completed my undergrad and currently am undertaking a postgrad in Public Policy, at University of Galway. I believe the policy degree will stand to me as the role of education officer requires dealing with policy frequently within the college. There has not been a postgrad run for a full-time position in a while so I believe this puts me at a unique position with a new experience to bring to the SU and the opportunity to understand and represent postgrads in a way that other officers cannot. As I undertook my undergrad here too, I am also aware of what that experience is like and feel I understand the student experience that will let me represent the student body efficiently. Some of my main manifesto points include an aim to achieve a reduction in repeat fees for repeat exams, obtain a reading week, ensure that the education and student success strategies are implemented, and lobby for a wider range of dietary foods on campus. My main point would be the reduction in repeat fees.
What do you think the greatest obstacle will be in your term, if elected?
I think the greatest obstacle in my term would be time constraints, a year is a short time to achieve everything one wants to achieve. One also must keep in mind that the field changes every day with new problems arising and unexpected events. These events often lead to original plans having to change, pivot, and/or be delayed. One must be flexible and dynamic to tackle this constant changing, I believe that I have these qualities to adapt to the ever-changing situations and jobs that need to be done, and confident that I will still manage to achieve many of my goals.
What is something you hope to carry on from the previous officer, if elected?
One thing that I would like to continue from the previous education officer is the international orientation week. This theme week is newly developed by the current VP for Education. I helped run one of the events and the atmosphere and engagement was great. It was a great start to the year, and I feel that it is important to continue as it gives extra opportunity for people to meet new people and settle into the college year, many of whom are here for the first time.
Finally, why do you think people should vote for you?
Due to my previous experience in the SU, I believe I have a great understanding of its inner workings and the needs of students. I am hardworking and believe that I can and will, if elected, do a good job in this role and I feel like these qualities make me a good candidate for the role, I hope that students feel the same for me and give me their number 1 vote on Thursday March 2nd.