Education Candidate: Stephen Crosby

 Stephen Crosby wants to make the role of Education Officer more accessible to students, as well as making changes to how the Students’ Union is funded.

Stephen Crosby, who has had previous dealings with UCDSU as a class rep, is running for the role of Education Officer. Crosby believes that “the point of the Students’ Union is to be the first point of contact for students when they have issues. It’s representing students on all issues, whether it be academic, social, financial, just purely someone you can go to.” He has no criticism of the current Education Officer Robert Sweeney, and wants to continue his work on trying to cap resit fees and improve student engagement with the SU.

“The ideal system would be not to have any repeat and resit fees.”

Speaking on resit and repeat fees he says, “the ideal system would be not to have any repeat and resit fees.” However, he favours a gradual approach, whereby UCD agrees to cap resit fees, and then the SU can begin to lobby for their removal. “I would dedicate as much money as possible to just having them abolished, but I would like to think that if you can get the university to agree on capping them, which is something they’re more inclined to do, then you can pile on the pressure and say listen, you’ve capped them now, we can show you an argument for getting rid of them.”

He did not go into detail with relation to at what price the cap would be set, but he did express concern over Trinity College’s new €450 cap, claiming that it was far too much money for students.

Crosby is dissatisfied with the way UCD treats students who are falling behind in modules. “There is a problem in UCD at the minute that if a student starts to slip up or falls behind or encounters a situation where something outside of the university is causing them stress, there’s a six-week waiting time for the counselling service.” Crosby is against grade capping on repeat modules, and advocates for the “driving test model,” whereby your past failure does not affect the result of your resit or repeat.

Crosby is against grade capping on repeat modules, and advocates for the "driving test model".

On the subject of funding, Crosby believes that the SU could come to an arrangement with the UCD Foundation, to raise money on a more consistent basis. When pressed for details as to how exactly this would work, he says that he has not contacted the UCD Foundation with this idea. He also wants to raise funds to enable students to go on Erasmus. He is aware of the existing grants for Erasmus students, saying “there are rent allowances and that sort of stuff, but I haven’t looked in depth at the numbers.” When asked if he had contacted the International Office about this idea, he says, “I have not, as of yet.”

Crosby believes the SU should do more for students who are on placement. He would like to think that the union is trying its best, but he thinks more could be done for, for example, nursing students who are getting paid below the minimum wage.

One of his stated goals is the establishment of an “alternative careers fair,” whereby students would be able to explore and find out about career options that they had not considered before. “The whole idea is choosing a path that may not necessarily be in tune with what is expected,” he says, but stresses that he is not avoiding focusing on the usual career paths, but just wants to offer students more choice.

On student engagement, Crosby believes that there should be bi-monthly meetings held between class reps and sabbatical officers, so that they can be kept in the loop, and that any problems can be dealt with as they arise. He also wants to establish an undergraduate showcase, whereby the Union would display research and work done by undergraduates. He describes it as a passion project of his and says that he believes it would help foster a sense of pride.