A “society best practice” handbook could really help new DCU societies, according to 2019/2020 Societies Officer candidate Cian Hade.
The handbook would detail and coalesce a variety of information on how to run a society. This would include things like how to properly run an annual general meeting (AGM) and how to properly document minutes for society meetings.
Hade said: “A lot of this stuff – unless you have committee members that are over from a previous year… you just kind of have to work it out on your own.” The Bachelor of Civil Law (Law and Society) second year student added that: “It would just make committee lives’ a lot easier.”
The society handbook is Hade’s first campaign policy. DCU and SU rules, regulations and policies would be contained within the handbook – as well as general tips.
Hade told The College View that if he were elected, he would call a forum inviting all interested students to decide what would be included in this final section.
“Let’s say for inclusivity… I’m obviously going to invite FemSoc, I’m going to invite LGBTA, I’m going to be inviting Mental Health Soc and the disability officer,” he said. People would be interviewed before being placed on the panel though.
He added that: “It would be made clear that it’s very separate from the rules and the policies – like this is just completely guidelines and tips and tricks for societies to have when they’re starting off.”
Hade mentioned how the Film Society ran into some issues with their AGM last year due to being unaware of certain DCU rules. Hade was not a member of the committee when this incident (which lead to the AGM being re-run) happened – however he is now their intersociety co-ordinator.
He is also the treasurer for both Ógra Shinn Féin DCU and Students for Justice in Palestine. It’s from working on these society committees that Hade believes he learned what it takes to be the next Society Officer.
Film Society’s public relation officer Lucien Waugh-Daly – who is part of Hade’s campaign team – spoke highly of him. He said: “I’ve worked with Cian in various societies over the past year and a half and have seen first-hand how dedicated he is to improving society life for his fellow students, and what a reliable and compassionate person he is.”
Another one of Hade’s policies is to have two designated hour-long periods to answer any questions. One of these periods would be open to all students, while the second would only be for matters that fall under his purview as a member of the Society Life Committee.
Hade’s final policy is to trial – and then hopefully implement – a support network for respective committee members.
According to his manifesto: “the aim [is] that societies will feel more inclusive and that less people will end up feeling burnt out.”
The society officer hopeful described the current climate as a “peaceful time in student politics.” He said: “Complacency is certainly an issue in student activism.”
Brendan Fernando Kelly Palenque
Image Credit:Brendan Fernando Kelly Palenque