Final year B.Ed. student Seán Smyth is hoping to lead DCU in the next academic year and deliver “the best student-experience possible.”
If elected, Smyth promises his term will be completely driven by students and that students will always be consulted. Putting students first is central to Smyth’s campaign.
Smyth plans to set up a centralised feedback system where students can share their concerns directly with him on a regular basis. His manifesto was partly constructed from consulting students.
“It’s not that students are coming last, it’s just that they need to come first, always,” he said, “and that is always something I’ve done in my work as class rep and faculty rep.”
Holding the positions as Class Representative for academic years 2018/2019 and 2020/2021, and also Faculty Representative for Education in 2019/2020, Smyth has organised events like guest speakers and the Ed Ball with Why Not Networks.
His time as representative was also student-led and is what drove him to run for president. Before his campaign he sourced feedback from his fellow students, so as to tackle any particular issues they may have had.
Smyth also promises to fight for in-person graduations, improved communication with DCU and increased support for students on INTRA, nursing and teaching placements.
He promises to not just sit back and wait for the issue to be solved but will have an active role in finding the solution.
“I’m a final year, I want it as much as the next person,” he said, about in-person graduations.
On the more national level, with regard to placements, Smyth promises to work with the USI and recognises that the fight for student nurse pay will only be won if institutions work together.
He also suggested setting up sub-committees with students on their respective placements to find out how to properly help them.
Students’ social lives are also a priority to Smyth, be that in person or online.
The past year has been “tough”, according to Smyth. “I want to make sure that that changes,” he said.
“Obviously, Zoom isn’t the best way forward and I’m not going to say “I can’t wait to organise events on Zoom” because that’s obviously not the most ideal. But we have to follow public health advice,” said Smyth.
Social events like sea swims, open-mic nights, cookery demonstrations are all possible social events to get students involved, which Smyth says “is just so important.”
The largest event he has planned is the week-long Big Summer Blowout that will take place across all three campuses at the end of the second semester.
It will have daytime activities (such as bouncy castles and mini-golf) and nighttime activities (such as entertainment acts and karaoke). It will go ahead “indoors or outdoors,” said Smyth.
Smyth also promises to organise guest speakers, which he has experience from his time as a representative, and life-skills workshops to prep students for life after college.
Voting for DCUSU elections takes place on March 24th and 25th, information on all candidates can be found at https://www.lead.dcusu.ie/
Image Credit: Seán Smyth