Sole Education Officer candidate Aoife Bracken’s manifesto outlines a set of goals that would be a huge win for students should they be implemented, but it is hard not to approach these with some scepticism.
Her promise to establish a resit and repeat fund to support struggling students, while a fantastic idea, may prove to be insurmountable. It may allay some doubt to listen to Bracken explain the intricate work that has already gone into planning such a fund, but the sheer volume of students applying may be the policy’s downfall.
Throughout her interview, Bracken was not only able to emphasise her skills in planning and risk assessment, but she also highlighted a level of attention paid to operations at a Union level. Discussing the Union, she showed that she understood how budgeting had been structured throughout a financially tight year, while also honestly assessing some of the Union’s prior work, noting their strengths and weaknesses where applicable.
Bracken demonstrated perhaps the most important qualities of an Education Officer – her understanding of policy, and willingness to help students. Offering stories of her own experience seeking out work-related supports, it became clear that being there for students is a priority of hers.
With a well thought out but perhaps over ambitious manifesto, and more importantly no opponents, Aoife Bracken's tenure as Education Officer seems both probable and promising.