Final year Education and Training student Kayla Gaffney is the only DCU student running for a position in the USI elections taking place today.
Gaffney is running for the position of VP for the Dublin region, a position that has only been around for a year.
“A VP for Dublin is vital for relaying updates, campaigns and events back to the SU’s and students and vice versa. As the largest group of students we also need to be represented by the national student union,” said Gaffney. “With all of the major issues happening in Dublin recently such as Take back Trinity, the merger between ITT, ITB and DIT, and the accommodation crisis the VP is there to support students and fight for their rights.”
The only candidate running for the position against her is Trinity student Colm O’Halloran.
In relation to DCU, Gaffney hopes to work with the incoming DCU executive and the USI VP for campaigns to lobby for fair accommodation prices for students living near the college.
“Especially now with Shanowen Square increasing prices by 27 per cent, students are not cash cows and it is time to fight back,” said Gaffney.
Nationally, Gaffney said her most important goal if elected is “growing the Access cohort of students by working with the Higher Education Authority and each member organisation’s access office to make their access route more accessible as some of the ITs offer other routes that are a bit more restrictive.”
“This would allow more students to attend third level education and it would be a great way to show the government that publicly funded education is needed more than ever,” said Gaffney.
DCUSU President Niall Behan said while only one DCU student is running for a USI position, this is not a reflection of the relationship between the college and national students group.
“The jump from DCU work to USI work for a year is stark and is not for everyone. We have engaged heavily with USI this year and fully support Kayla, however it would not be for everybody to run.
“DCU unanimously voted to support her in her campaign,” said Behan.
Image Credit: Kayla Gaffney