James Rooney is a final year Education student, a monthly platelet donor, a member of the Reserve Defence Forces and one of five candidates running to become this year’s Students’ Union President.
He intends on extending library hours, bringing a job expo to DCU and hosting a large-scale ball open to all DCU students.
A legacy St. Patrick’s College student, Rooney believes he can represent all students brought together through the Incorporation.
“I want to give back to the students of DCU, on all three campuses. I feel this year the SU had a major issue where I don’t feel they represented the whole college and I believe it kind of lost touch from years previous,” he said.
“What I would really like to do is re-invigorate the SU; bring it back to being for the students, so that it listens to the students and understands what the students want.”
One of the pillars of Rooney’s campaign is an innovative faculty-focused job expo, which will aim to expose students to potential employers or graduate schemes.
“We will bring in representatives from large companies to DCU to liaise with the students and discuss the opportunities that are available to them once they leave DCU,” he said.
“DCU is one of the biggest up and coming colleges in Dublin. They’re trying to pump money into a new faculty of education down in Pats, the first of its kind. I believe this is really enticing to employers but they’re not invited on campus. Students then are thrown into the deep end trying to find their own employment.”
Rooney also aims to continue the work of current VP for Education and Placement, Manus Mc Loughlin, in extending library hours during exam periods. He would also like to see extended library hours before and after Christmas, when assignments are generally due.
Like incumbent President, Dylan Kehoe, Rooney has promised a large-scale ball on his manifesto, encompassing four separate tents, stages and acts.
When asked about the feasibility of such an event, Rooney was confident that starting small and building up was the way to go.
“In terms of space, DCU now has three green campuses, three massive campuses. Pats has a huge green area, so does All Hallows. It could be held on them,” he said.
“One of the main issues you’re going to get thrown at you is funding. It is a major issue but I believe that we need to encourage sponsorship.”
“I believe that everything on my manifesto is feasible. I believe that I can do it. I don’t make promises that I can’t keep.”
The College View asked Rooney what he thought the role of the President entails.
“As the president you are the elected head, the elected representative of almost 17,000 students on three different campuses and you have to take into account that all three campuses are different,” he said.
“None of them have the same problems as one another. And so, as a president, you have to be willing and able to negotiate with all three campuses and all the different troubles they have and incorporate them into the greater scheme of things.”
“You always have to do what you believe is right for the students.”
Having worked in various different fields previously, Rooney is confident that his experience will stand to him should he be elected. He has run a family business, been involved with the organisation of large events and worked in security.
“I feel through that experience I can bring more to the SU, bring more ideas and also be willing to push more for the SU and for the students.”
Image Credit: Rebecca Lumley