Eimear Maguire is not only the sole female on the Students Union sabbatical team of 2016, but the first ever VP for Engagement and Development.
Filling one of two new roles, Maguire will focus on the promotion of student volunteering, engagement and leadership, while also overseeing the work of the Class Rep Council.
While Maguire hopes to provide more extensive training for class reps, she is also working on a system of recognition and reward for their efforts. This will be provided by an “open badge system”, an idea introduced by former SU President Kim Sweeney last year.
Maguire will finish where Sweeney began and hopes the badges, which will provide a formal recommendation from the University and appear on students’ LinkedIn profiles, will be operational by Christmas.
Other projects on Maguire’s agenda include development and growth of clubs and societies and an inter-campus bike scheme.
A former St Pats student, Maguire’s office is based on the Drumcondra campus, though the Engagement and Development officer finds herself travelling between there and Glasnevin most days, a challenge the SU is facing for the first time.
“It’s difficult for us to stretch ourselves but it’s easy to represent people. We hear things on the ground because we’re out and about so much,” she said.
“Because I’m in charge of class reps I suppose it’s probably a bit easier for me, because class reps will come to me straight away in comparison with the four other guys.”
While Maguire is rising to the challenge of representing a greater student body, time is the greatest challenge she will face this year.
“There’s a lot you want to get done and a lot you actually physically can’t,” she said.
“You’ve promised people so much, and on a day to day basis it’s very hard to get around to doing those things.”
Image Credit: Laura Horan