A new group of Programme and Executive Officers has been elected and are preparing for the new term. Simon Cantwell looks at the aims of each.
TWELVE students have been elected to their new positions as Executive and Programme Officers, following elections which were held earlier this month.
The incoming Irish Language Officer is Aoife Nic Samhrain, who hopes to organise a St Patricks day festival on campus for next year. She’s also aims to improve the ‘No Bearla’ campaign and hopes to make the event more accessible so that non-Irish speakers can get involved by making it “Irish for everyone instead of just the group studying Irish or that are from the Gaelteacht.”
The Women’s Officer, Jacqueline Brennan is looking to go ahead with Women’s Week next year as well as devoting more time towards charity fundraisers. One of her main concerns is the closure of the contraception clinic, saying “The contraception clinic is very topical at the moment so I’ll be working with the incoming Welfare Officer and the current Women’s Officer to see what can be done about this because it is an essential service that needs to be tackled”.
The position of Business Officer was contested between three nominees but it is Gohar Abbasi, who will be taking over from Mike Pat O’Donoghue. Mr Abbasi commented on the elections, saying, “Mike Pat had it last year and it has always done well so I’m going to try and maintain its high standard, but the main thing is to make sure we have good class representatives.”
The winner of the Law and Buisness and Legal Programme Officer (PRO) was Pat de Brun, who admitted that “I never expected to win. I knew we had a chance because we worked hard enough, but I never had the mentality that I would win. We were up against some strong candidates, but to get there in the end was amazing.”
His plans for next year include building upon the work done by the current PRO, Aine Gilhooly and intends to be a visible presence for all Law and Business and Legal students.
“The contraception clinic is very topical at the moment so I’ll be working with the incoming Welfare Officer and the current Women’s Officer to see what can be done about this because it is an essential service that needs to be tackled”
The current Irish Language officer, Donal Hanratty, was elected Health Science PRO. He stated that he would like to see more interaction between the different courses of Health Science and promote communication for all factions of the school.
“As students of Health Science, we’ll all be working together in a few years in the hospitals so it’s very important, I think, that we should all mix while in college,” said Mr Hanratty. Another aim of his is to make sure there is a good working relationship with the various societies in Health Science.
The positions of Arts and Human Science PRO, which requires two PRO went to Jonny Cosgrove and Madeline Ní Ghallchobair.
Mr Cosgrove, who is Arts Programme Officer for the current term, said “I’ve been a Programme Officer for the last year or two so I know the ins and outs of the job and what it entails. I now know in what way to approach the coming year.” Madeline hopes to bring back the Arts ball and Arts Day but is also concerned about making sure that the Blackboard website is used across the different schools in Arts, explaining “it really helps with your degree and it’s not very fair on students if only some people have that advantage.”
The role of Engineering and Architecture PRO went to Simon Keating. Mr Keating said that he looks forward to working with class reps to ensure they are performing properly in their roles by facilitating bonding between new students. Another aim of his is to “improve facilities in Engineering and Architecture and Newstead as well.”
The role as Science Programme Officer went to James Williamson. His main aim is to make sure class reps are accountable for next year. “I know a lot of class reps that weren’t on council,” commented Williamson.
“I want to make sure the class reps go the meetings they’re supposed to be on [and] make themselves available to students for questions, be it academic or otherwise.” Mr Williamson stated that if any class reps didn’t make the effort to achieve this then he would hope to find someone who would.
The position of Veterinary Programme Officer went to Aisling McGrath, who ran uncontested. McGrath hopes to build on her work as a class rep by working on the programme and its delivery. “There’s a lot of changes happening in the Veterinary programme at the minute and I’d like to do my best to ensure that they run smoothly.”
Other Executive Officers for next year include Postgraduate Officer which went to Kimberley Foy while Ruth Ní Ghormain was elected Environmental Officer. The positions of Agricultural Science PRO and Nursing PRO not yet filled.