Out of the five full-time positions, VP for Wellbeing is the only contest that actually has some proper competition. With four candidates for the job, it will be a more difficult choice for the student body come election day.
One such candidate who is certain she can make the cut is Colette Murphy, a psychology student, Crisis TextLine volunteer, and FemSoc Chairperson.
The job of VP for Wellbeing is a “broad” one, according to Murphy. The role involves making sure students have access to any help and support they might need while in DCU, as well as helping to build an awareness campaigns on all aspects of student wellbeing.
Murphy is confident that she is a good fit as she has studied Psychology for four years and is passionate about advocating mental health.
“I’m feeling good about it. It’s obviously a competitive race with four candidates, but there’s nothing like a bit of friendly competition,” Murphy told The College View.
As part of her manifesto, she plans to “establish the feasibility” of setting up “Text DCU to 50808” to access support.
“The HSE TextLine 50808 service provides immediate support for anyone going through a crisis, or just needing to talk to someone,” Murphy said, adding that other colleges and universities have established such a service, such as Trinity College Dublin.
“The benefit to this is that students are more likely to use the service when they feel a personal connection to it, and currently DCU have no 24/7 out-of-hours support”.
The 22-year-old also mentioned giving a two-week free trial gym membership to every student, where you could start it at any point of the year, not just September or December, when they normally are offered.
“There is precedent for it in previous years,” said Murphy, unconcerned by the potential of DCU Sport to veto her manifesto promise.
Tackling sexual violence is also a huge part in Murphy’s manifesto, “I want to tackle this from a number of angles” she told The College View, focusing on improved accountability and a “more victim-centred approach”.
“There is CCTV all over DCU and this needs to be better publicised to act as a deterrent to sexual violence”, Murphy explained.
“The problem needs to be tackled from the root and not just from the perspective of teaching students, primarily women, how to avoid something happening to them”.Collete Murphy – Candidate for VP for Wellbeing
Murphy’s “ultimate goal” is to make consent and bystander workshops mandatory across all year groups.
“Consent education needs to be embedded in the way we talk about sex in all campus events throughout the year, it should be a continuous education and re-education,” she said, adding that “students do care about consent, the delivery just needs to be made more accessible”.
“Consent education is also a large part of the role at the moment and as current chairperson of FemSoc, it’s an angle that I really want to focus on next year”.
Most of the candidates from all positions have also hovered the idea of extra sensory pods, and the introduction of sleep pods on campus.
However Murphy was uncertain if she could deliver it during her term, saying “it’s impossible to know the end delivery point on this yet, but rest assured it is something that I’d be working on from the beginning”.
Voting for the Students’ Union election opens on Wednesday 16th February at 7am on Loop, and closes at 7pm on Thursday 17th February.
Shortly afterwards, the results will be announced by the Returning Officer.
Image Credit: lead.dcusu.ie