DCUSU Societies Officer candidate Emily Hardy: Storage space, online review site & new give it a go plan

By Aoife Marnell

Emily Hardy is a third year Genetics and Cell Biology student hoping to represent DCU as their society officer for 2017/18. She is currently the only candidate running for this position.

Emily plans to finally implement a storage space for societies previously introduced by this years’ society officer Luke O Riordan, create society training and information sessions open to all members of the student body, construct on online society forum in which constructive advice and experiences can be shared in order to improve societies all over campus, and finally to extend ‘Give it a Go’ week by introducing the positive mentality that it’s ‘Never Too Late to Give it a Go’.

The College View asked Emily why she was running for the role of DCU’s Society Officer 2017/2018.

“When I failed my second year I became very lonely and felt that all my friends were moving on without me. I really didn’t know what to do with my time, and that’s basically where I found societies. It gave me something to do with my time and it allowed me to meet people especially outside my faculty and outside my year which I hadn’t done before. And that’s why I want to run, I want everyone in DCU to see the advantage of societies, not only to developing skills as a person but also to meet new people and basically get the most out of your college life,” she said.

Emily discussed how easy it can be to get involved no matter how small a role you might play in a society, “I’m only a committee member for sober society and science and health society but throughout the year I’ve just got involved as much as I can whether it be with dance events, whether it be with RAG, even if it’s just attending the musicals, I’ve just tried to go to as much as I can.”

Hardy believes she has the right skills to qualify her for this role developed from her own experience as a DCU student, “I think the main thing is to be approachable to people and promote engagement in societies, you have to act as a voice between the clubs and socs office and the SU on the issues that ordinary members and society members will be having, students should feel comfortable to discuss anything with you.”

“All the points I’ve put in my manifesto are things I genuinely believe I could do. I never wanted to make promises I couldn’t keep,” Hardy said. 

In the upcoming year, Emily aims to continue this year’s work of Luke O Riordan which was unfortunately put on hold due to the reconstruction of the student hub and create a greater storage space for societies. The current building developments on campus have obviously significantly reduced the space available for societies and Emily believes it is something DCU needs to work around, “I feel like this year there was definitely a lack of communications between all the campuses in regards to what storage is available and that a lot of space went unused, so as societies officer I want to make sure that every last square metre is occupied, and as well work on Luke’s aim to get society lockers.”

Emily also hopes to shine a new light on society training sessions and remove the “boring, lengthy” reputation they have inherited. She also wants to continue this year’s positive introduction of the Safe Talk training into societies.

“From speaking to committee members, I know that they find it’s just not really interactive and has become more a chore than something that is actually beneficial. I also want to open these trainings to non-committee members in order to give everyone a better chance to take part and get involved.”

She also outlined her hope for the creation of an “Online Review Site”, an online space in which different societies could discuss future and past events with one another in order to share advice and assistance in a positive environment. Emily feels this simple idea would make a huge difference in the quality of events and trips on and off campus next year, “It will be a space where societies can basically review accommodation, venues they used for events, just because, especially for new societies and with the refurbishment of the hub, it was really hard this year to find working venues and if you knew what venues societies had used, what was positive about them, if they had a PA system or anything like that, it’s so relevant and can act as a blueprint.”

Emily continues to praise the past and ongoing work of Sadhbh and Luke with the ever successful ‘Give it a Go’ week but hopes to go one step further by introducing the mentality of ‘It’s never too late to give it a Go’. She hopes this will give anyone feeling too scared to sign up late the positive push they need, no matter what time of year it is, be it the first two weeks or the last two weeks.

The College View asked Emily what about her manifesto is unique to others who have run for this position in the past.

“I think I am very realistic, I don’t think there’s anything there that’s crazy and will completely change the face of societies. I think everything I’ve promised is going to try and improve and build on the work that Luke and people before me have done. The main thing for me is that everything I’ve said in my manifesto I believe I actually will do.”

Emily believes that being an active member of society life throughout her time in DCU made her college experience the best it could be, something she hopes a vote for her will do for all incoming and current DCU students.

“I really owe so much to DCU, to the students, to the societies, and they basically became my family when I came here. Growing up I didn’t know where my place was in the world, and societies helped me find myself when I came to college and I really became such a confident person. For that I want every college student to have the best experience they could possibly have and come out with friends/family for life like I did.”

Aoife Marnell 

Photo: Aoife Marnell