No spring chicken: Graduate Officer Niall Torris reflects on summer preparations

As Graduate Officer, Torris has to deal with “issues relating to the education, welfare, and student experience of graduate students.” He also handle a lot of student cases. Torris must maintain office hours at the Blackrock campus “at least one day per week.”Niall Torris was re-elected this year to the position of Graduate Officer. In his re-election campaign he outlined his intent to create a position of Post-Graduate Student Adviser, as he hoped it would relieve a lot of the pressure of the role of Graduate Officer. “I met with the Postgraduate Students’ Union President of University of Limerick Dean Lillis and discussed common issues affecting graduate students, particularly with PhD students. I also met with Oisin Vince Coulter TCD Graduate Student Union President where we discussed a number of issues including fees, housing and PhD funding.”Torris also expressed his intent to continue his work on getting post-graduate students registered to vote in the Sinead. Torris outlined what he has done so far to achieve his goals for the University Observer. “Over the summer I have been working extensively on my plans for a Seanad Registration campaign, with plans to begin registering students after Freshers week. We are also planning a video campaign which will seek to engage students on what the Seanad is, what it does and plans are underway for this."Torris believes this goal is important because it “would see a greater number of UCD graduates eligible to register. I have been seeking a meeting with Senator Michael McDowell to discuss this in his role as Chair of the Seanad Reform implementation group.”Expanding his efforts to reach out and engage with UCD students, Torris has been “liaising with Belfield FM to set up a radio show/podcast which would offer graduate students an opportunity to showcase their research alongside each other. I am currently in conversation with Belfield FM station manager Aisling Grennan about launching the show when broadcasting resumes.”The rights and welfare of PhD students has been particularly featured in his work during the summer. “I have also been contributing to a review of the academic regulations for Professional Doctorates which is taking place in the current review of the academic regulations and to seeking reforms which would see PhD students better recognised for teaching experience which they undertake for scholarships/funding in UCD which has seen some limited success.”