Current Health Sciences Convenor Adam Carroll is running uncontested in the forthcoming UCD Students’ Union elections for the position of Undergraduate Education Officer; “It’s always something I wanted to do, viagra something I felt really passionate about. The union, health it helped me a lot last year. I really wanted to give something back and I felt this was the best way to do it.”
Adam, see a second year nursing student from Dublin, believes he has enough experience to take on the role. Since being involved with the SU since first year, he states that he has already dealt with education related issues as a class rep, such as helping students with extenuating circumstances and as convenor re-instating the staff/student consultative forum in health sciences.
The election for the undergraduate education position was initially contested between Carroll and Amy Fox, but the latter had to withdraw from the race due to glandular fever. When asked about the disappointing turnout in sabbatical nominations, Adam replied “I think it’s a shame to be honest… In my own race, honestly I am disappointed. Obviously it was unavoidable with Amy. Because I put a lot of work into it, it’s difficult. It is disappointing, next year if I am elected I hope to encourage more class reps to run, to hopefully get more people involved and to look to run for the sabbatical elections.” He also told the College Tribune that dealing with student apathy was one of the biggest challenges that the Union faces.
One of Carroll’s top priorities is to ensure that UCD has a seven day library all year round, which he will begin working on over the summer holidays if he is elected.“ The whole work through the summer will be geared towards how we are the largest university in the country and it’s completely unacceptable for us not to have a seven day library. If you look at the university rankings over the last five years, we have slipped year on year as our library hours have been cut, and it doesn’t take an awful lot of intelligence to put the two of them together and realise that they are related.” He also has plans to move the SU second hand bookshop into the library tunnel where he believes it would attract more visitors.
Carroll also wishes to introduce a “Rate my Module” system for electives, similar to ratemyteacher.com, along with an elective expo. These will be geared towards helping students making informed decisions about elective choices and “to ensure that a great idea in week one doesn’t turn into a great struggle in week eleven”.
Like past officers, Adam sees a necessity for a 24 hour study area and wishes to find out why this didn’t happen in the past. “I’d like to figure out I’ve had input from previous sabbatical officers, from Shane, as to, it was a gentleman’s agreement in the original agreement with the student centre that we have a 24 hour study area. That wasn’t kept up. First off will be to find out why it wasn’t kept up and if possible to find measures to combat that. And if not the health sciences library was built with exterior access, which could be used as a 24 hour study space”.
Within Carrolls manifesto he mentions the need to stop the slip in standards. When asked to clarify what he meant by the slip in standards, the reply was “No, I don’t think there has been a slip in standards, I think….When I say the slip in standard, I mean the slip in university rankings. That’s to do with a number of things, not so much a slip in standards in UCD. Maybe a failure to progress. Perhaps that’s too strong, but other colleges have moved up in the rankings and left UCD behind. The whole ethos I want to bring forward is lots and lots of small changes which will move UCD in the right direction and stop it from being stagnant”.
One of the main issues that Carroll will have to deal with is the on-going SUSI grants situation. He stated that a large proportion of his work over the summer will be to ensure it does not happen again and that “Any situation where students are left without being able to put a hot meal on the table is unacceptable”. When asked how he would provide access to hot meals for students whose grants are late Carroll told the Tribune that his plan comes from drawing on the compassion of parents of students who live locally and also asking local businesses, whilst also adding “I have a 30 litre pot at home that was used for catering. I’d be more than happy to buy a load of meat and cook a spaghetti Bolognese and a load of pasta and bring it in for students who want it”.
By Thomas Cullen
Interview conducted by Thomas Cullen and Rachel Carey.
Click here to read about the other candidates contesting the sabbatical elections.