After a year of vital student issues, Thomas Ward has watched as the student population has used their voices to enact change. He wants to do the exact same, taking issues such as mental health and INTRA and bring them to the forefront.
Ward is a 2nd year International Relations student, running for the position of Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty rep. Having been a DCU Ambassador for the past year, he believes that he has the necessary skills to undertake this role.
“I got to know a lot of people around DCU, which is hugely important to make sure we get stuff done,” said Ward about the Ambassador programme. This network of contacts, he believes, will help him to push forward his main promises of his campaign.
One of the main points for Ward is students and their mental health, and opening up a conversation about it. He particularly wants to focus on men’s mental health, particularly on trying to take away the stigma that exists around it.
“Men are just seen as ‘the lads’, they can deal with it, but that’s just not the case,” said Ward.
To combat this, he wants to work with the Welfare and Equality officer to provide both workshops and information evenings so students can understand and help break down the stigma of men’s mental health issues.
Ward isn’t just focused solely on mental health however, another key part of his campaign are his ideas for INTRA. He became interested in this after his course was promised INTRA placement, yet it fell through due to a lack of funds in the budget.
“I feel like there’s so many courses in our faculty that are not availing of it and there’s so many students missing out,” said Ward.
As part of his campaign, he’d like to work with the Humanities and Social Science faculty and how they can improve INTRA placements for students going forward.
“It’s hugely important to not only learn inside the lecture hall, but also outside it,” said Ward, who wants students to know about the opportunities that INTRA can provide for them.
Throughout his time in DCU, Ward has been focused on inclusion. In his first year of International Relations, he had an organised lunch for his course to come and meet one another, and now he wants to expand it out to the entire faculty.
He wants it to be run for both first and second years, to help incoming and current students meet new people.
“College life can be so scary for people coming in, and I want to help them with that,” explained Ward.
While he didn’t have ideas for other events currently, he is willing to work with the Students’ Union to create more daytime events that everyone can get involved in.
With his policy of inclusion, he wants to make sure every campus across DCU gets his attention, especially with humanities students based in St. Pats’ and All Hallows.
Image credit: Tadgh McNally