Education: Fionnuala on the Access Service and Erasmus

Fionnuala Moran is a final year Communications student and she’s running for election as vice-president for Education on the Students Union council.
From Bray in Co Wicklow, 21-year-old Fionnuala currently holds the position of Humanities convenor.




Why is she running?

Having been in an academic position on the Students’ Union this year as Humanities Convenor, (which is the rep for my faculty) I really just revelled in the role and I loved it.
I found it really interesting, really challenging, really exciting all the time. Meeting new people every single week and different challenges, it was class. It’s a really great way to get involved in DCU and it made me so much more passionate about the place.
So, going from that academic role I wanted to progress into what is probably the height of acadmeic roles in student involvement in DCU and be the vice-president for education.

She’s not happy with Erasmus…

Erasmus is one of those things in my manifesto that I just want to fix, because I’ve just heard so much stuff about how the office are not contacting the students and giving them enough time, or giving them their results in enough time for their different programmes; so that’s another thing that needs massive reform here.

What does she think about cutbacks to schools, particularly her school?

I think it’s justifiable in one sense; obviously we are frustrated but I think a lot of us can see that we are go-getters, we do get really involved in MPS, we’ve got people getting brilliant jobs out of their involvement. I know people say that a bit too much now, but…you can’t cut a nursing course or an accredited accounting course the way you can cut a humanities course, to an extent.
If we can’t go out into the world and we can’t give people injections properly and stuff…like, if a nurse can’t give someone an injection properly then there’s serious repercussions from that – it’s someone’s life, like. And if we go out and say that we can’t, maybe, communicate as well as the course previously would’ve equipped you to then that doesn’t have the same repercussions. But I do really think that they’re always bettering the course and they’ve done really well with the cutbacks they’ve had to put up with.

What’s her thoughts on financing college and people dropping out?

I suppose when it comes to grants, there are a few people that fall through the cracks and do not get the grants, but for the most part, like the bank here in DCU are really helpful with students who go to them for loans. So, I don’t think anyone can get too stuck, but obviously it is a massive fianancial strain for students, especially trying to balance part-time jobs…it can get very difficult.

What she thinks of the Access Service…

Some of my friends I know wouldn’t have been even able to consider going to college without the Access programme, so that’s a great thing to have here. I love how involved the students who come in to DCU are in it; that it’s not just a university taking over things, they really get the students involved in it, take on their experiences and revolutionise it that way.

So why is she the best candidate?

It sounds a bit, like, uppity to say but I really think being in the academic role on the Students Union Executive this year give me such invaluable experience; that I can just hop into the job and be running on the ground from day one. Obviously there’s still a handover process – Ciaran did more work than I did this year, obviously, because he’s full-time, but I just feel that knowing that we are going into a world of such huge change in DCU with the Pat’s, Mater Dei and CIC amalgamation coming in next year, and with this being the last year of the SU as it stands – it’s just too important a year to go in without having the Student’s Union experienve already.

Who will you vote for? Tell us in our poll.

Theresa Newman

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