DCU Students’ Union Education Officer Aaron Clogher has hit back at criticism the SU don’t interact enough with students.
Responding to the results of The College View SU survey, Clogher said the Students’ Union do make an effort to get out on campus but said “sometimes we need students to come up here as well. We’ve a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes, we sit on a lot of university committees, we’re working on one to one cases a lot of the time when we’re here.
“I’d love to be down in the bar mingling and getting to know everyone a bit better but it’s not just that easy.”
The issue with the convenors is something that has concerned Clogher in the past and will continue to worry him. “It still worries me that our convenors aren’t well enough known. I’ll certainly be bringing the results of this up at next week’s executive meeting to see what we can look at doing for this semester.
“To be fair to them, they’re quite visible in my eyes, but maybe that’s because they’re here [in the SU offices] and it’s me that’s seeing them.”
The SU have taken steps to try and make the convenors more visible on campus, with SU branded clothing and lanyards but Clogher understands that unlike the Sabbatical Officers in the SU, the convenors still have lectures and their own degrees to do. Clogher told The College View the SU will continue to work with the convenors to promote them on campus and make them more known.
The majority of students who took the survey said they want DCU SU to be a member of the Union of Students in Ireland, but Clogher refused to give his view on the figure. “Because DCU Students’ Union are maintaining a stance of information only and not taking a stance on whether we should be in or out, I’m reluctant to answer the question”, he said.
“I will say the results of that particular question are very interesting and that I’m very much looking forward to the debate and the referendum on re-affiliation to the USI.”
Last week USI President, John Logue and USI Deputy President and Campaigns Officer, Kate Acheson visited DCU Students’ Union. Clogher said that despite speculation at the start of this year, this was the first meeting DCU SU had with members of the USI.
46% of students said they wanted the SU to represent DCU students more on a national level and Clogher said it was something the SU discussed with the USI during their visit. “That was something we actually talked about when USI were in here last week. We were just discussing our national stance on issues. We have had referenda on fees and now the abortion referendum is coming up which are obviously national issues.
“I think one thing the union in DCU has developed while being un-affiliated to the USI is an insular focus in that we probably spend arguably too much, but certainly the majority of our time, on DCU issues. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is debatable; I’m still not convinced myself that it’s a bad thing.
“We’re paid by DCU students to represent them. While it’s good to have a national voice and a view on national issues, we’re here in DCU representing DCU students and I think it’s appropriate that we spend most of our time on that.”
As has already been pointed by the SU this year, Clogher confirmed that Toxic Tuesday will definitely not be coming back. “I hate to be the barer of bad news, but there’s just too much that could go wrong and has gone wrong and the effects that it had on student life in general was, in my opinion, a bad thing.”
“We were essentially providing a nightclub on campus and that’s not what we’re here for.”
Clogher said he was satisfied that almost 80% of students were happy with the SU’s performance so far this year. “It’s acceptable figures in my eyes, I’d be happy with those sort of figures that that amount of people think we’re doing a good job.”