The incoming Students’ Union is expected to have a more thoroughly dedicated team compared to last year’s SU, according to DCU SU President Elect Vito Moloney Burke. This will be partially due to “perfect” timing, and to the confidence he has in the members elected for the coming year.
“Fortunes will be in our favour. We’ve got the new student centre. So I will be able to hold and run bigger and better events than Niall,” said Burke. “I firmly believe I will have a full team.”
Burke said that Behan’s team found it very hard to stretch themselves across each campus, with a team limited to only three or four member actually in office. “Niall’s got the short straw in a lot of things this year.”
“There’s been a few of them that have worked really hard this year and have done their utmost to represent the student on the ground and where they can in their offices. I’d love to believe our team will be a full presence next year – all five people day-in-day-out, ready to help the students on every campus.”
The launch of the new Student Centre, where the new SU office will be, has been delayed until September. This will make the SU more accessible to students, said Burke. “Half the students don’t even know how to find the place. Whereas next year we’re going to be extremely visible, it’ll be extremely easy to find us. Timing was just perfect.”
While his term as SU President doesn’t begin until June 7th, Burke’s involvement in the SU has already began through the Shanowen Shakedown movement. “The outgoing and incoming teams are really working together… It’s been a really good experience to be thrown in the deep end and I’m learning quite a lot from the whole thing.”
According to Burke, the ongoing radio silence from Shanowen is not the issue. He plans on continuing Behan’s pursuit of legislative change. “Not just change them, change this. This whole entire facade that is the housing crisis for students in accommodation complexes… It’s about doing the research, meeting legal experts, having another push ready to go for September.”
He is determined to keep engagement up through the summer, into September, and to keep the “emotional campaign” going. “It’s going to bigger than DCU Students’ Union. It’s going to have to be a national push.”
Burke is concerned with using his position as SU President to help prepare students for life after college. Life Skills is a programme that has been very successful in NUI Galway and Burke hopes to be ready to go with the programme “fairly soon” in DCU.
The skills classes that will be on offer to students include “bar skills training which students need if they’re going on J1s…But it’s going to range all the way to suicide intervention training, first aid courses, and all those kind of things.”
“It will be a bigger and better year for engagement in DCU,” said Burke. Despite the 40% fall in voter turnout, Burke is enthusiastic and prepared to do his utmost as President across the campuses. Burke ran uncontested and secured 2446 votes out of 2984.
Image Credit: DCU