My Communications background has shown me the ways to communicate and the methods to avoid – The SU does good work – getting the information across has been the problem. A gulf in communication with students has existed again this year. It’s an ever difficult battle to win but it should be tackled from all sides. As President I’d hope to have a greater opportunity to direct SU initiatives rather than simply implement them
Provision of information & Online facilities
Part of what makes UCC great is diversity, it is also cause of many of its problems. UCC as a mix between a Campus University and a City University faces difficulties with creating a spirit of inclusion and particularly in the dissemination of information. We must cut down on the time students spend looking for information by properly employing methods like the new Student Information Network
- Develop the use of the new student information network (including the students’ union website http://su.ucc.ie ) to really become the one stop shop for student information needs
- A full Grind online service.
- A proper integrated Jobs online facility within the website
- A full Year plan for the College year available (online and inprint) from the start of term – with ents and events available to help you plan your year.
- Reinstate a regular (quarterly) SU publication (online and inprint) similar to last years FUCC magazine.
- Magazine from last year– to keep UCC students abrest of whats going on and how their money is being spent.
An SU Publication
We shouldn’t be talking about putting ‘SU things’ into the UCC Express – the UCC Express should be independent and impartial. The Unions Communications’ Officer should be capable of coordinating a small seasonal publication directly from the Union. Not everything the Union does is sexy enough to be ‘news’ but that doesn’t mean it’s not interesting. Last year fucc sought to be a light hearted and informative. It was not overly time consuming and would have significant benefits in terms of spreading knowledge of whats going on in UCC.
The UCC Express
At present the Union is responsible both financially and with legally with regard the papers content – despite its editorial independence. That does not make sense for the good running of either body. Student publications need to be independent of the Students Union. Where it is necessary to be critical of the Union they need full freedom to do so. Financial controls are an important limit on the Express. The Journo Soc publication Motley, now financially established shows that is possible for independent publications to survive. Formal structures to ensure the maintenance of the paper are essential. While rushed freedom could damage the paper, initially I would like to see a clear budget set aside for the year. Ultimately, I’d like to see a situation reached where a full time editor was able to direct the paper from outside of the Union.
Distributing newspapers and magazines is both expensive and time consuming. We should be providing an alternative where possible. The UCC Express hasn’t had a fully functioning website for about 5 years. Sadly, there is only so much you can do to the print run of a free paper. Long promised, an online express would do well to bring the main campus together with off site areas. More and more we get our news online. The present situation of having downloadable .pdf online is better than nothing but we have to make it easier to read and promote it amongst the student body. This could also give prospective students and other interested parties a chance to see the college in a different way.
- A publications committee for UCC, similar to those in other Irish Universities (eg Trinity) must be established to encourage, oversee and promote independent student publications.
- A clear budget for the UCC Express
- Express online to make UCC news freely available and not restricted to a limited print run