The role of DCUSU Welfare Officer faired tougher and busier than anticipated, Domhnaill Harkin, the outgoing Welfare Officer told The College View.
Harkin admitted that he was a little bit naive entering the role of Welfare Officer, “it’s a lot of process to go through and change takes a lot of time,” he said, “you just have to do the best you can in your one year here”.
Harkin struggled to pin down one highlight, but he said that two students approached him regarding unfair fines from student accommodation and favoured this because he believed he had made a difference.
“I studied law so I researched it,” Harkin said. “We came back with a huge counter-argument and they got the fine reduced so much”.
Harkin’s manifesto stated that he wanted to introduce an appeals system to campus residence fines.
The appeals system was not implemented this year. Harkin approached campus residence about the matter but he claimed “the appetite for that just wasn’t there”.
“Once the people in charge aren’t up for it, you can’t really push for it,” he said.
STI screening days were run throughout the year, as Harkin’s manifesto stated he would do. €6000 has been put into the screening days and 1300 people have been tested. Another €3000 will be put into the fund this week, according to Harkin.
“It’s expensive to do, it’s where nearly all my budget went to, but I think it’s a worthwhile project to do,” he said.
When asked if there was anything he would have done differently as Welfare Officer, Harkin stated that he wouldn’t be so headstrong.
“I can go in with all guns blazing sometimes, it’s something I need to address,” Harkin said, “You need to be cool and collected, that’s something I failed in during my early days, but I think I’m better at it now.”
Image Credit: Laura Horan