The UCDSU Constitution outlines the role of the President as the “CEO, First Officer & Chief Spokesperson of the Union” that “shall be responsible for the administration of the Union.” The constitution also states that “all staff of the Union shall be ultimately responsible to the President.”
Barry Murphy was re-elected to the role of UCDSU President last spring. He was first appointed President for the previous academic year after winning a by-election in November 2018. In his most recent election campaign, Murphy promised to maintain pressure on university management to achieve the SU’s goals. In his interview with the University Observer, he noted that incoming teams are usually promised “the world”. However, the enthusiasm usually wanes by the second semester, as management knows “that a new team is on the way.” He intended to focus on pressuring management to achieve affordable on-campus accommodation, and other goals the Union was mandated to pursue, as well as improving UCD’s counselling service.
Looking back on the summer’s events, Murphy recalls, “this summer started with planning and coordinating a successful crossover and training period for us Sabbatical Officers. An effort was made to improve on previous years so as to make sure all Sabbats are prepared for the year ahead.”
Now that first years are settled into college life, Murphy wants to emphasise the importance of getting involved as a class representative. “All these activities only work with the support of class reps. An aim this year has been to improve class rep structures, recruitment and training. I recruited a new Returning Officer and we’ve implemented a constituency review to allow representation to again sync with UCD structures. We’ve reviewed class rep training and will implement our improved training program in October.”
Obviously, the housing crisis in Dublin has been at the forefront of students’ minds and Murphy says that he has “met many students over the summer, helping them on student issues from housing to fees to wanting support for an idea or initiative they have. There has been an increased number of students who have approached their Union in recent months for support. This reflects on improved awareness of UCDSU.”
Keeping up with his manifesto promises to continue applying pressure to those in managerial position, Murphy has “worked to lobby UCD management and government ministers on housing, education issues and more. I have attended multiple boards and committees, representing the view of students. Pressure maintained from commitments that were made to the Union, last year, has continued and this should see increased results on changes in UCD in the coming months. ”
The President also works in collaboration with the different sabbatical officers to help achieve their goals. “I have attended all [Ending Sexual Harassment & Violence in Third Level Education] meetings, along with [Welfare Officer] Melissa, to solidify UCDSU’s support to their National “It Stops Now” consent campaign. This will be rolled out pre Christmas.”
Signing off, Murphy mentions: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last 3 months and looking forward to the year ahead.”