Incoming Students’ Union President Aaron Clogher is looking forward to holding a re-referendum in semester one next year on DCU re-affiliating with the Union of Students in Ireland.
In an interview with The College View as he prepares to bow out of his current role as Education Officer, Clogher remains neutral on his views about whether DCU SU should continue to stand alone.
The newly-elected President of the SU for the academic year 2013/2014, labelled negative comments directed towards Paul Doherty and the SU for their decision to declare the referendum results null & void as “lazy and ill-contrived”.
“The facts were that the referendum was not done constitutionally correct. The decisions were not made on any personal or group ideas against the USI. Students need to be fully informed of the yes or no implications of the vote. Once everything is done right in a re-referendum I will stand behind the student body next year”, he told The College View.
He also stated that he is “open to meeting with next year’s officers for USI to see what they can do for DCU”.
Clogher’s passion and enthusiasm for his next role is evident as he admits that he is already writing notes for his SU presidential welcoming speech during orientation week 2013.
He can’t wait to “see the look on in-coming first year student’s faces when they finally realise that they are here starting their journey” and he is “immensely proud to be in DCU to welcome them and have the opportunity to share that pride.”
As future President of the SU, next year he hopes to engage in any way possible with a much broader range of students at DCU. He admits that student engagement was a big problem for the SU this year and highlighted this during his election campaign.
“Some students aren’t involved enough in student life”, he said. “The problem with a year-long position such as Vice-President and Education Officer is that once you realise something big needs to be done it can be too late.”
During the course of the academic year Clogher’s biggest challenge was for himself to get more involved in student life. He stepped out of his comfort zone and on to the catwalk of the Style Society’s annual fashion show and showcased his new dance moves at DCU’s Best Dance Crew. “It’s something that I never would have considered before and I am so glad that I participated in both shows”, he said.
A challenge that will be high on his agenda for next year is to communicate better with students about up-coming events. Despite the SU utilising social media websites to their advantage when promoting and organising events, this year many on-campus events resulted in an extremely poor turn-out of students.
Clogher confirmed to The College View that Toxic Tuesday will not be returning next year and he hopes to organise more early evening events that will hit a broader range of students. Acoustic sessions in the restaurant and a hypnotist in The Venue were some of the more popular day-time events held over previous months.
“I enjoyed this year and met so many new people as Vice-President and Education Officer in the SU” he said. “It horrifies me that such a low number of people put themselves forward for a position in the SU elections. It is a great experience and that is why I decided to run and come back as President of the SU next year”, Clogher told The College View.
Image Credit: Eimear Phelan