UL is an issue – time has been spent wooing them – it is important it continues but not at the expense of the other institutions in the South. Those affiliated already and others who are not. There are a number of smaller, but no less important institutions, like the Cork College of Commerce, who would have only 3 less votes than WIT if they were actively associated. For USI, the FE sector should be considered a concern due to the lack of any real student representation and be seen as a huge potential growth area. They need to be provided with the opportunities to establish themselves, opportunities to join USI but finally and most importantly they need a Union which is effective and worthwhile being an active member of.
USI has a potential niche. It represents all students and works for all students. I remember when each Union was expected to collect press cuttings relating to students – having USI do some jobs once save us all a lot of time. Through organising of advertising and/or key services centrally there is the potential for financial support for USI and Unions locally.
I believe the colleges in the South would also benefit from co-operation in other areas. Unlike the larger Dublin colleges, big acts and companies aren’t always on our doorstep. I want to see what we can do together to make sure we get full value for money when entertainments come to the South.
Having been a campaigns officer, I also know how time consuming it can be to produce effective and appealing materials. As well as provide resources and assistance with campaigns, I would hope to provide co-operation on campaigns to make them bigger and better. This support and co-operation is important whether the local Unions are doing campaigns which are central to USI’s campaigns or not.
Going forward, I am particularly interested in the aspect of training. Many, many of the mandates relate to training and this is a key area I believe that an Area officer can have an impact. I’ve been both a full and part time officer – and as President I’ve been heavily involved in all aspects of the Union organisation.
Part time officer training is only likely to get off the ground when it is held locally. Holding one in the south could be a great social and bonding event – or holding it on each campus would also support the work of officers. Support in the organisation of modules for Class rep training is also important.