Michael Long is a fourth Year Religious Education and Music student eager to be DCU’s next Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion.
One of his major campaign promises is to establish a Diversity Panel that would meet each month.
He hopes that this will facilitate discourse and suggestions from minority, underrepresented, and struggling students.
“I want there to be an open discussion so that people can voice their concerns to me and I can work for everybody. Not just the most vocal that make themselves known to me, I’d allow everyone to make their needs known,” Long told the College View.
Long believes that this panel could take the form of in-person meetings that could also be livestreamed with contributions from an online chat.
He also supports the possibility for students who are unable to attend in-person lectures to easily access their modules content virtually.
Students that can’t return to campus, or feel unsafe doing so could continue to receive their education through pre-recorded videos or a livestream of their lecture as it takes place on campus.
If elected, Long wants to implement the inclusion of lecturers preferred pronouns in a way that is clearly visible for students in lectures.
This would be in their sign-off at the bottom of emails, at the end of their display name on Zoom, or during their face-to-face introduction to students.
He intends to introduce specific hours in the U building for the visually or audibly sensitive, allowing students to socialise without having to worry about factors that can be uncomfortable.
This would be similar to measures taken in some shopping centres that dim lights and use quieter music at certain times of the day.
“I want a space for social interaction that’s dedicated and available. Whether people want to use it or not, at least they have an option rather than having to be outside,” he said.
Among his other campaign promises, Long wants to establish a “close relationship” with DCU societies to ensure that their events are inclusive and accessible, and to ensure that the supply of sanitary products recently made available in public bathrooms on campus are at a sustainable level once heavy footfall returns.
“I’m a teaching student so I have experience with both the teaching and learning aspects of university. I can make a really lasting and genuine contribution to life at DCU,” Long stated.
Voting for DCUSU elections takes place on March 24th and 25th, information on all candidates can be found at https://www.lead.dcusu.ie/
Jamie Mc Carron
Image Credit: Michael Long