Three candidates are competing for the role of DCU Students’ Union Welfare Officer 16/17 in the SU election. The College View spoke to the three candidates about their SU welfare goals.
Alison Ring, Cody Byrne and Shane Parsons are the three students vying for the office of Welfare Officer.
Alison Ring, a final year Journalism student, has been active in society life throughout her time in DCU, with a heavy involvement in Enactus.
Her objectives include: compiling an Accommodation Advisory Service, running consent workshops, introducing a Physical Health Week and an Accessibility Awareness Week.
To engage students on campuses that she will not be based on, Ring proposes to create a mobile SU and get out of the SU for a week to “eliminate that sort of almost daunting setting for a first year”.
Asked about her plans to improve mental health stigma, campaign manager Shane O’Mahony said Alison wants to “teach people how to cope with their mental health” and that she does “believe the stigma of mental health has been very well addressed by the previous welfare officers.”
Cody Byrne, a Psychology student, is the chairperson of the Irish division of the largest student led organization in the world, is a class rep and a student ambassador.
His objectives include: establishing an accommodation website on the DCUSU page, creating an online peer support system and student blogs, and running more mental and sexual health workshops.
When asked about engaging students on other campuses Byrne said, “it’s just time management and ensuring that if an event is happening on campus that it’s happening on another” and that he has to make sure he’s around and showing a presence.
Byrne plans to enhance social awareness regarding disability issues and run a disability week. “When I was growing up in America we had a disability week,” Byrne said. “You get a newfound respect for them”.
Shane Parsons is a St. Pat’s student, running a joint campaign with Jack Bruton, an Engagement & Development candidate.
His objectives include: the setup of an accommodation app, mental health awareness days, consent workshops and free STI tests.
To engage with students off the Glasnevin campus, Parsons proposes to throw himself out there and talk to people face to face. When you’re talking to someone face to face, you get to know who they are, you get to know their personality, you get to know what they’re about,” Parsons said. “I think that will engage students more”.
Parson wants to run mental health days throughout the year, “We only have one mental health week, throughout the whole two semesters. So why can’t we have a few days throughout the semesters and then have a week,” Parson told The College View.