Education Race : Shane Comer
“Simple ideas done well”, discount Shane Comer talks to Conor McKenna
Dublin local Shane Comer promises, that if elected, he will make the Education Office more accessible, visible and pro-active in meeting the needs of students. Comer is a former gaelscoil student and states that while in first year the Union provided help in the area of transition to studying science through English. “I’ve been very involved in UCD in my time here.” he explains, “The Union has been very good to me personally and I really felt like I just wanted to give something back.”
In terms of his manifesto Comer wants to improve communication: “I really want to reconnect with the students. I want to reconnect them with their education and with their Education Officer”. Comer goes on to state, “I want to create a UCDSU education blog, Facebook and Twitter. I want to be able to communicate with students that way.”
“I’ve been in contact with the Veterinary Building, they currently have an area in their canteen where microwaves and kettles are made available and the health and safety seems fine there.” Comer notes that he is currently involved in negotiations to get microwaves and kettles in the Health Sciences Building.
One of the big plans in Comer’s manifesto regards internships: “I want to make sure that students are aware of the requirements of the internships in terms of what they’ve done in their time in university.” Comer states that he would like to work alongside the Careers Office but also spearhead campaigns of this nature himself.
“Through the Erasmus fund scheme, I want to enable students to go on Erasmus through the use of EU Study Grants.” States Comer, “I want to put students in touch with these EU Study Grants with the Erasmus Programme and make sure that students are aware of the financial support that is available to them.”
In his manifesto, Comer has stated he will continue to lobby the government against further increases to the student contribution however he admits that if a referendum were passed indicating UCD students did not support the anti-fee campaign that he would follow Union policy.
“I would have advertised it better.” Comer states when queried about the issues surrounding the Student Bookshop earlier this year. However he mentions that there are a number of books, particularly economics, which become defunct when a new edition is published.
From a personal standpoint Comer states that he would like to see a referendum on USI affiliation. He believes that USI needs to reform, particularly in the area of communication. Comer admits that he hasn’t read the new USI constitution.
Comer mentions that he would like to see the bookshop’s capacity expanded either through moving the shop or knocking down a wall. Also he “would like to create business ties with other second hand bookshops and I would also give the students a wider range.
Should he be elected Comer will have a tough year ahead of him. The Education Office has an important role to play but financial pressures could make this portfolio one of the most difficult in the year to come.
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