Students on placement will have a representative in the Students’ Union after the role of VP for Education and Placement is introduced from next year.
This role will be introduced to support student nurses, teachers and INTRA students on placement and will also target education and study issues. The Education and Placement Officer will be based on the St Pats campus.
Both candidates for the role are St Pat’s students. Stephen Rixon is a final year Bachelor of Education, he is the current Societies Officer in St Pat’s. If elected, Rixon says his main aims are: consistent support for students on placement; ensuring feedback on all assignments and fixing any issues surrounding online learning platforms like Loop.
Providing financial support for students on placement is a major part of Rixon’s manifesto. He says while the SU have a limited budget allocated to this, he wants to “really push” for this. He wants to provide free printing credit for student teachers who print reams of paper for their placement.
“Additional printing credit would be such a help financially because you do have to just print an insane amount, between resources for the classroom and all of the stuff for your own folder.” He also wants to push for travel expenses for students travelling long distances to where they are placed.
Manus McLoughlin is Rixon’s opposition. He is a third year primary school teaching student and a two-time class rep. He also held the position of Entertainment Officer and Daytime Activity Officer.
“When I read what the position was, I immediately thought it fitted me. It’s the role of the Education and Placement Officer to provide support for all students on placement that being said I’m not going to ignore those who aren’t on placement,” said McLoughlin.
McLoughlin wants to see end of semester one exams moved before Christmas, something DCU President, Brian MacCraith alluded might be in the works recently at Class Rep Council. In his manifesto, McLoughlin stipulates that students on placement need to have supports to look after their wellbeing while on placement.
Like his only opponent for the position McLoughlin wants to introduce financial supports for students on placement. “It wouldn’t be too much of a thing to do to provide the students who are going on placement, say give them €50 into their printing credit,” he said. McLoughlin would also like to organise a shuttle service for students travelling to placement.
The INTRA system is an area of concern for McLoughlin: “There’s huge problems with intra, right across the board I’ve been talking to students , if elected I promise in two weeks time, even next week to start putting in plans in place so those changes maybe can be implemented by next year.”
Katie O’Neill and Alana Laverty