Ailish Keating is a final year EPL student contesting incumbent Callaghan Commons for the position of VP for Academic Affairs.
Since first year she’s had ambitions to be an SU sabbatical; she considered the role of Welfare and Equality before determining that most of the issues she sought to tackle fall under the banner of Academic Affairs.
She aims to get to “the root of the problem” with on the ground action helping students with their issues as they arise, preventing academic problems from snowballing and tackling difficulties with simple solutions.
Her manifesto boasts an array of ambitious projects. With the library’s maths learning centre receiving brilliant feedback, she wants to use that model to initiate a strand of new learning centres to help students with assignment work in a multiple of disciplines, with postgrads offering guidance and help to – in particular – first years.
“I have friends who had a media law module this year but had no idea how to write a law essay,” she said.
She wants to extend this concept to first year School of Communications students to offer crash courses in using media technologies and taking pressure off societies to provide workshops and training.
Ailish has had a part-time job since her fifth year of secondary school, and while she’s lucky to have flexible hours in her work, she recognises that many students are in more difficult positions fitting in shifts during the week while attending class and enjoying college life.
One way of dealing with this, she believes, is with a part-time jobs fair, bringing local employers seeking to hire students into DCU and introducing students to a range of options for making money while not neglecting college.
Also of financial benefit to students would be a book-sharing app for students to swap and sell used textbooks, and Ailish would offer paid employment to qualified students from computing backgrounds to build the app.
In her experience as a class rep for the past two years, she has become familiar with the inner workings of DCU student government and the processes of the executive. Her class experienced a number of issues with modules this year which she helped resolve through liaison with lecturers, and this gave her “a good feel for the procedural side of dealing with academic issues”.
Ailish acknowledges a certain lack of transparency with this year’s SU that has caused some concern for students. “As a class rep I’ve felt a few times that people have gone over our heads, and obviously if elected I intend to be completely transparent in every way… it’s only fair for students”.
On the recent hot topic of DCU remaining in the USI, she personally supports our continued presence in the union but accepts that she’ll be following an SU mandate next year if students vote to leave.
“My views are very obvious and public, especially after the emergency CRC [on Monday 25th February, where Ailish read a speech on behalf of fellow class rep Dean O’Reilly] but I’ll happily take up the stance mandated because that’s why I’m there.”
Lucien Waugh Daly
Image Credit: Lucien Waugh Daly