Miranda Bauer is a final year Modern Languages student, and is the current Diversity and Inclusion Campaigns Coordinator in UCDSU. She has previously held the positions of Arts, Humanities, and Social Science Officer (‘21/22) and German Class Representative (‘20/21). She is running for Campaigns and Engagement Officer in the coming Executive Elections, the sole contested race in the Sabbatical Officer elections.
Bauer demonstrated a strong knowledge of both UCDSU and UCD management’s structures in her interview, naming boards and individuals when asked with both speed and confidence.
On the topic of engagement, Bauer is widely positive about the unions movements in the past year. “I think it has been better than last year, for sure. I think that has been reflected in the events that have run this year, I think we have seen a good level of engagement. Also, with the fact that more people have decided to run in the elections this year, I think that’s a good indicator.”
As for her own plans for engagement, which make up two of her main manifesto points, Bauer spoke on wanting to encourage engagement with students from diverse backgrounds, “I think a very good way to do that, first of all, is to contact outside organisations that take care of this. In Ireland there’s actually very good organisations such as Gorm Media and BlackAndIrish that work towards engaging all parts of society.” Her plan is to bring in external organisations to help train UCD staff and union members to better create integration, as “It’s up to us, as the student’s union, to make sure that we can actually engage everyone in UCD.”
It’s up to us, as the student’s union, to make sure that we can actually engage everyone in UCD
Her second point on engagement regards plans to better engage student cultural leaders, such as society committees and clubs. Bauer plans to continue the SU and Student Societies mixer that was held at the beginning of semester one this year, while also building further on it - holding a second wider mixer in semester two, as well as hosting smaller mixers with societies that have indicated they would like to work closer together and with the union, so that the union can better facilitate collaboration and cooperation across student life. “I feel like it's always the same societies collaborating with the same societies [...] we can help, we can try to make things in collaboration, we can put people in contact as well.”
She also plans to try and engage student clubs better, by promoting upcoming events and matches on the SU website. “It’s going to be a subsection in the website - it wouldn’t be there to publish every single match, it would be there to publish semi-finals, finals, or the more important competitions, to make sure that there’s not an over[load] of information, and that all of the clubs get their respective amount of coverage.”
I think sports clubs are a very, very, very important part of student life
Bauer made it clear that while she doesn’t think sports clubs should be politicised, or that clubs should feel the immediate presence of the SU, the SU could be doing more to support them. “I think sports clubs are a very, very, very important part of student life, I think they’re as important as societies, but I think from the SU’s perspective at the moment, we’re not really engaging with them as much [...] I don’t think it’s intentional, but I do think it’s a very, very good thing that we could do, potentially [...] We should establish a bridge with them.”
Bauer’s manifesto is heavily campaigns focused, honing in on housing and transport, both hot button topics for this election cycle, as well as gender equality and the prioritisation of interculturality. Her campaign-based promises also centre in on the issues being largely national in nature, highlighting a want to maintain connections with campaigns the SU is already attached to, such as the Cost Of Living Coalition.
Engaging all parts of the student body, that would be my main priority
Bauer also plans to relaunch the accommodation survey, to ensure that the SU has up to date information on how the housing crisis is affecting students, so that campaigns can be properly directed. As well as this, she plans to campaign for better transport services to campus, building off of information provided in the prior transport town halls. In her manifesto, she highlights a need for better service for students from under connected areas, as well as a need for more 24 hour services.
When asked what the single most important part of the job, Bauer responded, “Engaging all parts of the student body, that would be my main priority. I feel like once we do that, we’ll actually get an excellent grasp of what the issues that are present for students at the moment, so that would be my main priority.”