Academic Affairs Officer: James Nolan on a new SU position, CRC reform and repeat exam changes

James Nolan is a second year Computer Applications student and the Engineering and Computing convenor.

Nolan was a class rep in first year. He believes his “on the ground” experience will be enough to win him the position of Academic Affairs Officer. The role is a new one to the Students’ Union and Nolan believes it came at just the right time.

“The role is similar to that of the current Education Officer,” he said, “but Academic Affairs gives a broader span in what it can look into. In this role, more can be done at a national level and especially now, with threat of student loans and rising fees, I think it’s a very important title.”

The new position is going to be a very stressful one, Nolan added, but with the help of the Education and Placement Officer, he will be able to handle the increasing number of students.

“I’ve been listening to the two running for Education and Placement Officer and they have some brilliant ideas, some of which are along the same lines as myself.”

His experience with the Class Rep Council showed him that changes need to be made. “As a class rep, and faculty rep, I don’t think CRC functions to the best of its ability. Class reps have come up to me this year saying they feel that the atmosphere has been stagnated.”

Nolan said if elected he will work with the Engagement and Development Officer to improve the CRC. He has a few ideas on minor changes that can be made.

“One of my ideas is to give first time speakers a round of applause,” he said. “That is a huge confidence boost for people that are speaking to a crowd for the first time.”

Nolan said that controversial motions have been brought up throughout the year. “There was a time limit motion that I personally didn’t agree with but I patted your man on the back for putting it forward because I could tell how nervous he was speaking. It’s all about support.”

Earlier continuous assessment and repeat exam results is one of Nolan’s main points in his manifesto.

“What I propose to do with continuous assessment is to get academic council to approve a motion whereby a standard is brought in. A standard is not a nail on the head, it is simply saying that we will strive to do.”

With regards to repeat exam results, Nolan believes they should be earlier. “20 days before the start of semester one lectures is not good enough. That’s putting more stress on staff as well as students.”

When asked why he should be chosen over as Academic Affairs Officer he said: “The thing I have over my opponent is that I’m a student, I know what the issues are and I know the students with the issues. I’ve been on the ground an awful lot this year and I think I’d be the most approachable, energetic and enthusiastic person for the role.”

Aoibheann Diver

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