An Interview with the UCC Express

Vote for the POWER to get things done

Vote for the POWER to get things done

1. Why do you feel you are the right candidate for the position of Deputy President? Why should the students vote for you?

I have the experience as the current Societies President, I am hard-working and want to do the job well. I believe that next year will be a challenging year for the Students’ Union. I want to make sure Student Services aren’t easy targets for cuts, I want to make sure the University has its priorities right and cuts fat instead of muscle when reducing costs. There is no point in spending €600k on an Art Gallery when we can’t afford to staff our Library, its that simple.
The Union has long suffered from a bout of bad public relations amongst average students, many in the past have promised changes, but I want to fulfill those empty promises and tackle the community perception of the Union and its work and widely communicate that we are open for business for all students.

2. If elected what changes will you bring to UCC and its students?

I will build a new UCCSU website that is easily navigated and user friendly and one that every student will know the web address to and that they know it’s the first place to go for information about UCC and the Union.
I want to push the Computer Centre to implement Gmail as the email system for all students, its been done in Trinity, there is no reason why it can’t be done here in UCC.
I want to push for the University to change its website. UCC developed the third website in the world, that doesn’t mean it should still look like the third website ever created. UL and UCD put us to shame and its costing us both on a marketing level and much more importantly; it is impossible for current students to navigate it and find the information they need. I want UCCSU’s new website to put them to shame.
For too long, basic communication with students has been neglected. I want to bring the Union back to basics adapt a completely new communications strategy in every aspect of the work of the Students Union.

3. What do you feel is the strongest point in your manifesto and why?

The strongest point in my manifesto is the need for the Union to improve its own communication with students and with University Management. Strong and effective communication with students will be vital over the next 12 months, many changes will occur that will affect every student and they need to know about them. I want to make sure they will. The University also need to know that the Union recognises the gravity of the current situation we find ourselves in. They need to know that we are not naive and that we don’t expect all services to remain at the same level, but rather that we are serious about consolidating the University’s position in third level education in Ireland, but more importantly that the Union will have a list of priorities where we think funding should not be affected ie. the Library, Student Services and improvements in Teaching & Learning.

4. What separates you from the other candidates?

Experience and a track record of hard work and dedication.

5. What plans do you have for Cork Campus Radio?

My plans are simple, I plan to promote it. A whopping 82% of students don’t listen to it and 77% don’t know the frequency. For a service that could be hugely popular amongst students those figures are unacceptable. I plan to work with the staff and student volunteers to promote the service across campus and to evaluate the way it is currently operated, including taking a look at broadcasting hours. A student radio station that broadcasts when students are in lectures doesn’t make sense.

6. In your manifesto you stated you will lobby for “Wider Student Consultation on Major Decisions.” How do you propose to achieve this?

This year the University planned to move student graduations from September to July. I proposed that they carry out a survey to see what students thought before they made a change that would affect every student in UCC. The survey was carried out and 70% of students were against changing the current state of play. I’m not suggesting we use this method for every decision that will affect students in UCC, but certainly changing the timing of graduations is a good example of where I would like to see wider consultation amongst the student body at large.

7. How do you plan to revitalise the Student Centre?

I plan to make sure that the University finally appoints a new centre manager and stop them from extending the contract of the current manager who has been trying to retire for the past 12 months. We need a new management structure that is willing to work with the Students’ Union to organise events that appeal to students. I don’t want to see any more flower-arranging classes, I want to see top quality gigs and removing the current barriers that prevent student clubs and societies from holding events there.

8. What are your plans for a sexual health clinic in UCC?

There already exists a plan for the introduction of a sexual health clinic in UCC, but it has been stalled due to funding difficulties. I plan to work with the head of the Student Health Centre Michael Byrne, the SU President and Welfare Officer and the VP for the Student Experience to make this plan a reality. We need to indentify potential areas for funding and realise that STI’s pose a significant risk to the long term health of students. The STI clinic is not a luxury for UCC, it is a vital neccessity.



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