Paddy Guiney explains to Conor Fox why he wants to become Campaigns and Communications Vice-President
Current Sports Officer, cure Paddy Guiney, is the forth candidate in the race for the coveted Campaigns and Communications Vice-President position. It is his work as Sports Officer this year that has inspired him to run for a Sabbatical position, as he “loved seeing the amount of stuff that goes on … a lot of it isn’t portrayed to students but so much work goes on behind the scenes and I really want to get involved in that … I would open up the Union”. As Sports Officer, Guiney spear-headed the ‘Save Our Track’ campaign, which he feels gave him a “real taste for [campaigning]”.
Something Guiney feels strong about is the lack of commnication evident in the current SU, pointing out that “I’ve never been lecture addressed by the current C&C Officer.” To combat this, Guiney promises as part of his campaign to lecture address every single morning, adding “people have to see the face of the SU”.
The Sports Officer plans on utilising screens in buildings such as Health Science, Arts, Science and Quinn to communicate with the student body. On top of this, he is hoping to reduce the amount of posters the Union prints for environmental and fiscal reasons. “Anything that’s going on, anything that’s relevant … campaigns … events … I want to show what the five Sabbats are doing”.
As part of an increase in communication between the SU and the students, the History and Politics student feels that the current SU website needs to be reformed to make it more accessible for the student body, and hopes to get students involved in this process; “I want their ideas”. Guiney will look at the option of creating a new website versus reforming the old one; “it depends which is more cost effective … from talking to computer science students … we can reform the old website”.
He also hopes to engage the student body in college life by introducing ‘Credits for Life’ – a proposed scheme whereby students would receive credit for their work outside their degree, through societies and sports clubs; “people need to get involved in college … you benefit so much from extra-curricular activities”. While Guiney admits that he hasn’t worked out the exact details of how credits would be allocated or by whom, he reassures that they are “going to work with the University … UCD administration do want this”.
Something Guiney particularly wants to see is students getting credits for being a class rep. He agrees that the amount of money spent on class rep training every year is one of the “biggest issues that annoys students about the Student Union”, if he is elected he wants to combat this by ensuring that it is held on campus.
In relation to the proposed Constitution, this candidate fully backs it, on the grounds that “it’s more open, more accessible, it allows more people in the Students’ Union”. On the contentious issues of proposed pay for conveners, he believes that this will place a greater responsibility on conveners to work harder,; “it makes them more accountable”. While Guiney acknowledges that this may be viewed as adding an extra layer to a Union which is already considered overly bureaucratic, he believes the conveners will be more involved with the class reps. He also feels that under the new Constitution, that this will allow the Sabbatical Officers “to focus more on national issues or student important issues.
As Campaigns and Communications Officer, Guiney may be called upon to organise a campaign in relation to fees. He stated to the College Tribune that considering the economic climate, he will “run a realistic campaign.” However, if the result from the proposed referendum on UCDSU’s stance on this issue shows that students wish to continue campaigning for ‘free fees’ he will support this.
Speaking about a possible referendum on UCDSU’s affiliation with USI, Guiney believes the SU “should stay affiliated completely”, on the basis that USI does a “lot of work behind the scenes … [it] is a powerful lobby group for students”. He wants to make “students aware from our Students’ Union of what USI does,” conceding that if they still want to disaffiliate, he will hold a referendum. This reinforces Guiney’s view that there was a lack of communication this year between UCD Students’ Union and the student body about USI; he hopes to get USI “more active on campus”.
Guiney believes that UCDSU needs to get a “passion back, we need to tell the students what’s going on … I have the most experience and I really want to do it.”
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