Sleepy Doyle: “Power naps are more effective than caffeine and it’s free, it doesn’t cost money”.
Ryan Doyle, a final year student and candidate for VP of Wellbeing in DCU’s 2022 student union elections told The College View.
The last two weeks Doyle has campaigned on both Glasnevin and St. Pat’s campuses mainly sharing the news of if his number one aim; to introduce sleeping pods for power naps on campus.
“I think there’s a bit of a stigma behind it… it’s like ‘What are you doing?! Wake up,” laughed Doyle. However, he believes that there’s relevance to this plan as Trinity College, University College Cork and Maynooth University have all introduced similar and successful nap rooms.
[Napping] improves productivity, reduces stress, and overall health will improve. I don’t need to do the studies myself, they’re out there,” said Doyle, who plans to speak with sleeping pod companies, like Metronaps, to achieve the “final goal”: Get five pods across both the Glasnevin and St.Pat’s campus.
“I think we’ve got a growing number of commuter students, the university’s growing and prices in Dublin are really high – which is another problem I want to deal with,” said the Dundalk native.
Like thousands of DCU students, he commutes everyday and feels that commuters like him, would benefit from the facility with early morning lectures and late evening club events.
Doyle is currently researching fundamental movement skills for children with intellectual disabilities, however plans to research sleeping patterns within the emergency services.
The kickboxing instructor describes himself as confident and sociable, to which he attributes to his twelve years studying and teaching martial arts. He hopes to set up self-defence classes and wellbeing workshops to allow for DCU students to gain and strengthen their own confidence and social skills.
“Part of the wellbeing workshops motto is ‘Run for students, by students’,” said Doyle who plans to allow students from individual schools to run their own workshops for other students in their respective disciplines.
The workshop will include general wellbeing, health, study, academics and relationships. Doyle said he plans to introduce more student-run clinics like the athletic training and therapy clinics where students can get injuries assessed, with lecturer supervision.
“I’m not even closing the door [to health students], there could be an opportunity for computer science students to help first-years be more computer literate… I’m not an expert in everything, it’s just an idea, but my focus is in wellbeing and health”.
Relationship clinics were something Doyle originally didn’t plan for, but after speaking with students he feels they could benefit people in the college.
“My initial idea was confidence building workshops and conflict management workshops because both of these allow you to express yourself and not hurt people’s feelings,” Doyle told The College View.
He plans for the relationship workshops to help with the dynamics of both traditional and modern relationships, like step-families and open relationships.
Doyle has also publicly expressed support for the non-fatal offences bill which will criminalise stalking, something that is categorised as harassment in Ireland.
CSO figures state reported assault and related offences had risen to just under 13% in 2021, with higher volumes of young people reporting such crimes.
“Stalking is right before the crime happens… [it] shouldn’t be so easy to get away with,” said Doyle.
Similar laws in the UK led to a sharp rise in reports of stalking, which Doyle believes is evidence that this law works and should be put in place.
Along with the additional campus wellbeing resources, Doyle wants to improve the resources the university currently has, something he feels separates himself from the other ballot members.
“Compared to the other candidates, I’m the only one bringing the new ideas… It’s a lot easier to criticise something being done, it’s a lot harder to innovate and create something new and that’s my plan… Other universities are doing it, why aren’t we doing it?” said Doyle, who is one of four candidates looking for students vote for the position of VP for wellbeing.
Image Credit: @ryandoyle_wellbeingdcu on Instagram