SU Elections 2020 – President: Olivia Forde

Róisín Phelan

Olivia Forde in a graduation cap and gown.

[This candidate did not accept an in-person or phone interview with The College View and thus had time to prepare a response to questions via email]

If elected President, Olivia Force wants to introduce commuter hubs, comedy nights and a “Know your Rights” campaign across DCU’s three campuses. 

Forde is the current students’ union (SU) Vice President for Education and Placement and ran unopposed for the position this time last year. 

“I think Christine is doing a superb job as president, but if elected,” Forde said, “I would try to be on the ground with students more and be more visible.”

Forde told The College View that she believes the rising cost of higher education and accommodation is the most pressing issue for students at the moment.

“I do not think the college should be building the barriers to education by putting up the prices of accommodation, especially as we are working so hard along with USI [Union of Students in Ireland] and all the other colleges in Ireland to stop this rent increase.”

To tackle this issue, she said she would continue the process of having the SU and the USI together, “lobbying the government to break down the barriers to higher education.” 

Forde’s manifesto details a “Know your Rights” campaign which would aim to inform students of their rights in regards to “accommodation and the working world.”

“There is a lot of areas that students may not know when or where or even the right questions to ask are. I know myself that as a first year I had no clue what sort of questions to be asking a landlord or lady. I want to educate students who might be looking for accommodation and what exactly their land people should be doing for them or what to ask them.” 

“I also plan to launch this campaign in other areas regarding work place too, to make sure our students are equipped with the knowledge that they need,” she said.

In her campaign for VP for Education and Placement, Forde said she wanted to introduce teacher appreciation weeks, teaching and nursing fairs and first aid and manual handling courses.

So far in her tenure Forde has not implemented teacher appreciation weeks however she says she instead had, “a few smaller events for students for them to enjoy.”

Forde did organise two days of CPR training, “as first aid is a longer extensive course so I thought CPR would be a better initial starting point. The response from the CPR classes were fantastic too.”

Forde’s manifesto also mentions commuter hub, daytime activities, the promotion of sign language, an increase in water fountains on St. Patrick’s Campus, the promotion of sustainability and comedy nights and engagement on all campuses

The commuter hubs would offer students who commute a safe place to store their bags and belongings during the day. 

The increase in water fountains, Forde’s manifesto says, are needed as “the queues to use them are ridiculous.”

The comedy nights would be monthly and would provide students some “laughter and lightheartedness”.

“Laughter is the best medicine, so they say,” wrote Forde’s manifesto. 

Róisín Phelan

Image credit: Olivia Forde