Education Race: Patrick Wolohan
Patrick Wolohan tells Conor McKenna about his manifesto, mind fees and USI.
“I’ve been in UCD for the past three years and I’d the best time of my life. The Students’ Union mightn’t have helped everyone out but they helped me in many ways. I’d like to give back and help students.” Current Gender Equality Officer Patrick Wolohan explains. One of the major plans contained within Wolohan’s manifesto is to changeover from Blackboard to Google Docs: “It’s just an idea so far, malady I haven’t done much so far about it.” He goes on to state that there are some problems with Blackboard but feels that these can be worked out through using Google instead. He mentions that he’d “get all notes on Google Docs. By shifting to a completely new system it could be a good way of getting everyone in on it.” Wolohan has yet to work out the cost. In terms of finances Wolohan states that the ideas in “My manifesto [are] going to be extremely cheap.” But admits that changing from Blackboard to Google Docs will be the most expensive.
Wolohan believes that his realistic goals will be the difference when it comes down to “I’ve realistic goals, the change to Google Docs is the most adventurous idea. Some people say Sam has the most experience and some people say Shane ‘he’s the new guy and he’d breathe fresh air into it’. I’ve been in the Students’ Union for a year and I know the main workings of it.” Wolohan admits that he doesn’t know much about the Student Support Act. But feels that his previous experience working on campaigns for to lobby for grants will stand to him. As regards Bookshop incident earlier this year Wolohan belives that current Education Officer Geoghegan “wasn’t at fault, but the Bookshop thing was a big problem. He wasn’t the number one person at fault.” He mentions however that Geoghegan “promised expos and he didn’t get those”.
More lecturer accountability is a priority for Wolohan: “At the moment I’m making a website. A large number of students don’t use the module feedback website. The one I’m making will make it easier to access, it will have each individual module listed, offering grinds, books for sale” “In an ideal world free fees would be the best way.” Wolohan states but believes people need to be practical: “My ideal system would be a loan system but I don’t know if that’s feasible.” He states that he will support the will of the students if a referendum on fees occurs. “The concept is great.” States Wolohan with regards to USI and remains in favour of affiliation but criticises the sale of USIT after 9/11. He contends that USI should be self-sufficient. Wolohan has not read the entire USI constitution. Wolohan belives there should be a referendum on USI affilation next year. Regarding the new UCDSU constitution Wolohan has “very few problems with it”. Privatisation of Ents and Res Coordinator are some of the strongest parts of constitution according to Wolohan. He argues that the Class Convenors are the equivalent of PROs and is in favour of giving them a salary claiming that he “can’t see every convener claiming ten hours pay a week”. Wolohan feels that his experience as Gender Equality Officer and his success with Pink and Blue Day will serve him well should he be elected.
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