VP Welfare and Equality candidate Maria Lawlor: Student support services, a “buddy” system for first years and the DCU amalgamation

by Paul Dwyer

Maria Lawlor: " I’m really approachable and if any student has any problem they can come to me and it’s no issue at all; we just want the best for every student."

Maria Lawlor is a final year St. Pat’s student studying Education and she is one of four candidates running to become next year’s Welfare and Equality Officer. She told The College View that Welfare and equality is a position she is hugely passionate about and would have no problem undertaking the role if elected.

“It would mean a lot to me if I was voted in. It’s a position that I feel is made for me. I’d like to bring a bit of fun to the job but I also realise that it is a huge responsibility. I’m really approachable and if any student has any problem they can come to me and it’s no issue at all; we just want the best for every student,” she said.

Maria’s manifesto outlines 3 specific points that she wishes to address if so elected as Welfare Officer which are improving the services of the student support centre, implementing a buddy system for first year students and addressing the changes that have been seen since the beginning of the amalgamation in the Glasnevin and St.Pats campuses.

Lawlor told The College View that she wants to work with the student support centre in DCU to bring more workshops on the prevention of bullying and cyberbullying and workshops on how to help another person who is visible going through a tough time and to also offer consent classes.

“I want to have workshops to address things like bullying and cyberbullying and to have awareness campaigns so that people can recognise when someone might need help too. I also want to introduce consent classes to inform people properly on the subject”

Speaking also on the need to help others Lawlor said that she wants to implement a buddy system for first years, which is each person would be paired with another in their class so that they have someone that they can meet with and go to lectures together so that the experience isn’t as daunting.

“A lot of students feel isolated, especially those who come to a college on their own. The idea is to give everyone a buddy that they can go to lectures with and meet up with so at least they’re not doing it all on their own. It’s much easier if you have someone else.”

Lawlor also spoke on how the amalgamation has been felt differently in each campus. She described how more people in St. Pat’s campus have felt that they have been left short changed by some of the new changes brought in while the students in the Glasnevin campus haven’t noticed any real differences.

“I was speaking to a lot of students in St. Pats and they feel that they have lost out a lot since the beginning of the amalgamation while the people in Glasnevin haven’t really noticed.

“There seems to be some bad blood between the St. Pats students and I’d like to try and change this. I feel like there needs to be more events on each campus and with the opening of the hub next year, that would be a great opportunity for the different campuses to come together.”

Paul Dwyer

Image Credit: DCU SU Facebook