DCUSU Presidential candidate Eimear Maguire: Fringe festival, drug policy & a year in SU

By Hayley Halpin

Eimear Maguire is the current DCUSU Engagement & Development Officer. She is a former St. Patrick’s College student. She believes the role as president is the natural progression for her this year.

“I feel I have more to give to students and I feel my experience in the Union will benefit me in the way that I’ll be able to get things done quicker and more efficiently. I know what’s feasible and what’s not feasible,” Maguire said.

“I have a vested interest in the student movement at the moment and seeing what’s going on with the Cassells report and how loans may become an issue for students I feel that’s something I can definitely fight for,” she said.

Her manifesto discusses establishing life skills workshops, hosting a DCU hunger games, working alongside DCU’s creche to lower the fees, hosting a DCU Fringe festival and implementing a DCUSU drug policy.

The College View asked Maguire what she thinks the role of the president actually entails.

“It represents the students on a local and national level whether it be something as small as someone appealing their results and or whether it is something as big as the loan scheme or Repeal the 8th.

“A lot of changes can be made but it’s made through sitting on boards and sitting on Executive and governing body. That’s what we need to portray the president as,” she said.

When asked what she would bring to the position that was not done this year, Maguire suggested having better communication among the Students’ Union sabbaticals and students.

“We had a lack of communication a lot of the time and it probably reflected on us in a bad light. We need to be a transparent Union, we need the students to know what we’re doing on a day to day basis which I’ve addressed in my manifesto but I feel like there’s a miscommunication between what we do for the students and what they see us doing,” she said.

The DCUSU Oktoberfest failed to sell out this year. On how feasible Maguire’s plan for a Fringe Festival could be she said that it’s about engaging with the talent already on campus on a smaller scale.

“You can promise all of these massive events and spend thousands, literally thousands, on security, on fencing, licensing and acts. You forget that these things take doing. The Fringe Festival is going to utilise the skills we have here on campus,” she said.

While present DCUSU sabbaticals failed to follow through with their promises of lowered doctor fees, Maguire wishes to avoid this by implementing a rise in the student levy fee.

“It does take a lot to up a student levy, it’s not an easy task to do but I feel that if it’s led by the students, if it’s brought to referendum, if students really get behind it, it can happen,” she said.

On utilising the SU’s Union of Students in Ireland budget, Maguire said it is important to attend events that the money goes towards and to focus on funding USI campaigns on campus.

“Campaigns is a massive thing. That budget should be used for making a bigger scale campaign on our own local campus. It’s having student bodies at places. It’s more about presence,” Maguire said.

As a current member of the SU this year, The College View asked Maguire what she would do differently next year than she did this year.

“A lot of the things that we promise aren’t feasible and I think that’s something I really focus on this year in my manifesto.

“I didn’t put down anything that I knew I couldn’t achieve because you go in with high hopes and promising a lot and you do want to make a change but there’s only so much you can do on a day to day basis,” she said.
Hayley Halpin

Image: Aine Egan