Three candidates: Sean Cassidy, Timmy Crowe and Kim Sweeney, compete for the role of DCU Students’ Union President 15/16 in the SU election. The College View spoke to the three candidates about their SU presidential ambitions.
Second year Economics, Politics and Law student, Sean Cassidy is no stranger to the DCU political-landscape, a self-proclaimed ‘student activist’, he has maintained an undeniable presence in campus politics throughout his time as a student.
“At the moment I’m the largest policy creator in the Union, that’s a great thing for me to say. When I leave college I can say: ‘I’ve made more changes than most people do in college regardless of what positions they hold and I’ve done that as an ordinary student’ ” said Cassidy.
His objectives include: creating a self-catering area, transcending the SU into an “activist union”, strengthening engagement between students and the SU and creating a bike scheme between the Glasnevin (DCU) and Drumcondra (currently St Pat’s) campuses.
To rectify poor postgraduate engagement with the Union, Cassidy proposes the creation of a Graduate’s Students’ Union “The reason why they’ve stopped it is because you’re literally giving off a piece of Union funding to a Graduate’s Students’ Union. We’re just spending their money and they’re getting no value for it.” He continued: “Postgrads need to represent postgrads.”
Asked about solutions to hefty fines imposed by campus accommodation on students, Cassidy said he is considering establishing a campus residents’ association to represent tenants.
Candidate Timmy Crowe is a Education and Training student who would make “fun” a priority throughout his year as president.
His ideas include having a shuttle bus home from town after nights out, large-scale events such as an end-of-year ball, a sports day and barbecue as well as convincing Campus Residence to allow students to sign in guests after 11pm.
“The most important thing is education. We’re all here at a third-level institution but I also want to make everyone’s time here as enjoyable as possible and university life is really where you make your memories and friends and it’s setting you up for the working world afterwards,” he said.
Group gym memberships and discount cards are also priorities for the athlete, who represented Ireland at the European Indoor Championships last weekend.
The second-year student entered the presidential election at the last minute, after being encouraged by Welfare candidate Domhnaill Harkin.
“Domhnaill actually inspired me to run. I have the utmost respect for Domhnaill and I think he is an amazing guy. I was going to go next year but I decided I’d go this year just because I want to be in that buzz that Domhnaill is bringing,” said Crowe.
Kim Sweeney is a final year Analytical Science student, a seasoned Class Rep (holding the role for three years) and the current Science and Health Convenor. She believes her experience in DCU has prepared her for the role of SU President
“I’ve been involved in the DCU community and life for the last four years even though I’ve been really busy with a very hectic course. I’m passionate, I’m hardworking.” She said.
Her manifesto boasts ideas such as the introduction of a multi-use student card that can be used across campus for various purposes like purchasing food in the canteens or in Spar and for printing, making transactions more efficient.
Sweeney prioritises mental health, if elected she intends to continue the pursuit of an amber flag for the university.She also wants to create an appeals structure for students who have fines imposed upon them by campus accommodation, which they deem to be unfair.
The amalgamation of DCU with St Pat’s and Mater Dei, Sweeney interprets as a positive for the SU. “It’ll add competition for the Student Union, which I think is great because you need the best quality candidates running. People that are getting competitive will make the effort to go the extra mile.”
Terry Keegan was the fourth candidate in the SU Presidential race but withdrew from the election last Thursday. A heavy workload, the media and public relations aspect of the campaign and naivety as to what the role entailed were the factors Keegan citied for his dropping out. “My heart just isn’t really in it so I just decided to pull back out.” Keegan told the College View last week.
Voting begins on Monday March 9 at 10am and closes at 5pm on Wednesday March 11. Voting will be done electronically via Loop where students will have the opportunity to vote on two referenda also.
Katie O’Neill and Laura Colgan