Last night, the prospective college officers were interviewed as part of the UCDSU Hustings, an event in which students are free to ask those aiming for positions in the Students’ Union questions about their plans for the position. Each student was given a two-minute period to outline the main points of their manifesto before the floor was opened for questioning from the crowd and the convenor Megan Fanning.
The evening began with the two students aiming for the position of Arts, Humanities & Social Science Officer, Emily Gallagher and Robyn O’Keeffe. Both aimed to improve the faculty’s environmental and mental health awareness, as well as increased interaction between students, the college officers and the class reps. Gallagher mentioned the idea of having office hours in which the students would be able to express their concerns to the college officers. When asked about the utilisation of the position in the past, Gallagher believed that the officers could be doing more, while O’Keeffe was adamant that the officers don’t get enough credit for the work already undertaken.
Following on from that, the candidates for Law College officer, Joe Boyle and Molly Greenough, took the stage. Boyle aimed to improve facilities within the School of Law (i.e. study spaces), increase engagement between the Students’ Union and law students and improve communications between students and law firms, with the ideas of sponsorship and staggering assessment being mentioned. When questioned on the practicality of implementing staggered assessments, Boyle acknowledged that it would be impossible for modules to stagger end of semester exams, but said that essays could be spread out more over the semester. Greenough, while sharing Joe’s view that the school’s connection to the Union should be strengthened, also expressed interest in improving Erasmus options for the students of Law and possibly increasing feedback on assessment within modules. Both candidates were of the opinion that, due to the fact that the Student Centre was so far from the Sutherland School of Law, engagement with the Union was sorely lacking and suggested more campus centric union events.
Next came Lucy Dornan, the sole candidate for the position of Science Officer. Dornan’s main points were centred around improving quality of student experience in the O’Brien Centre for Science, as she expressed interest in increasing seating outside of lecture halls, bringing microwaves back for general use and placing recycling bins around the building. Having been involved in Student Union affairs as class representative over the past year, Dornan believes that she can maximise her impact as college officer. When asked about increasing student engagement with the Union, Dornan believed that arranging more events in the O’Brien Centre itself would increase interest in Union affairs.
Representing the faculty of Health Sciences was Molly Gervin, who had also served as a class representative over the past year. Gervin believed that there was a severe lack of interest from the students in the Student Union, and hoped to change that by increasing engagement within the Health Sciences building itself. Gervin also mentioned that, as a class representative, she had been made to feel as if she didn’t belong in meetings involving the Union and hoped that she could improve relations within the Union itself. Much like Dornan, Gervin expressed interest in improving basic quality of student experience in the Health Sciences building, by working with the Pulse cafe to add microwaves and kettles to the building.
Last to speak was Joshua Gorman-Climax, running for the role of College Officer of the engineering faculty. Joshua believed that the Student Union was fundamentally broken, believing that it should shift its focus primarily toward the involvement of all students. Climax was of the belief that the Union should show that it has the capacity to fix students’ problems and that it has the structure to constantly improve itself. Showing what the Students’ Union can do was the most important thing for them to do, according to Climax.
There are no students running for the positions of Irish Language Officer, Agriculture & Food Science College Officer and Business College Officer.