UCDSU By-election 2022: Graduate Officer Candidate Marc Matouc

Image Credit: Aoife Rooney

Geopolitics and Global Economy MA student Marc Matouc is running for Graduate Officer. His manifesto is based on adaptability, meaning that, if elected, he aims to take on any new points that he feels are important during his time as officer.

Marc Matouc’s experience with the SU started when he was a Class Representative for the Social Sciences and Law stream. He decided to get a little more involved with the Students Union by running for the position of Graduate Officer in the SU By-elections. “I think that I got into this position mainly because I want there to be a proper atmosphere. I want to create a big social atmosphere because we deserve it, we have sacrificed so much”. His “No FOMO” campaign for graduate students seeks to promote student involvement on campus and help maintain a stronger student community and atmosphere in a post-COVID world. He believes he has the experience for the role he is running for, as he served as the Students’ Union coordinator for two and a half years during his undergraduate degree in the Irish American University. Additionally, he served as a peer mentor for a year and a half. During his interview, Matouc demonstrated a strong knowledge of the structures in UCD.

For Matouc, the biggest difference between what undergraduate students and graduate students need from the Students Union is maturity. “They need people who have been in an experienced role, or who are willing to take the sacrifice to kind of help them in whatever they might need. Again, it comes down to visas, it comes down to a lot of different grants that are needed, and a lot of sorting that out as well. Again, patience, I think is an important thing for graduate students”. In his manifesto, he states that he wants to promote equal inclusivity for all students across UCD campuses and programs, including allocated events that suit the interests of graduate students. 

The most important part of being the graduate officer for him is “keeping his ear to the ground”, having knowledge about what the student base’s problems are, and being patient with the measures and external factors that could delay the development of projects and campaigns. “I think the most important parts of that would be listening to people going around campus being involved. No absenteeism, no sitting behind a desk, and actually getting out there and being involved listening to people. That’s what I have been doing on this campaign”, he said. 

Matouc believes that students would vote for him because he can offer a lot more of a post-COVID social life, and he wants to provide more basic social amenities throughout campus. He wants everyone to be involved, which is why he wants to make student life more affordable. When speaking to students, Matouc realized that the three most pressing issues for UCD students right now are accommodation prices, the unbalanced price-quality ratio in products offered by different shops and food places in UCD, and the need for more scholarships. 

When asked about the engagement with the SU, the candidate explained that it was limited this year. “There has been Coronavirus for the last two years, and I give them praise for what they've done. And what they've reached out to, I've certainly felt that I can engage with the social media aspect of things”. However, he stated that he believes the SU could reach out “a little bit more” by having people physically on campus to increase engagement and participation. By doing this, he plans on maintaining continuous support and incentive throughout the year, especially with graduate students, as he believes they were “alone” throughout this past year and could use more engagement from the SU. 

One of the strongest points in his manifesto is related to physical and mental health through digital detoxes and athletic events, which he hopes will be beneficial for the overall health of students. Matouc presented a “learn as you go” attitude, which he hopes will translate into the more serious aspects of the job through passion and transparency. He wants to be honest with his constituency about how even though he has some experience, being the Graduate Officer would be a new challenge that he is willing to take with a good attitude. “I will have the willpower and the duty to do the best I can”.