A passion to help other students is what drives Paul Dockery, a second year Politics and Economics student, to get involved with campus organisations. This year he threw himself into activity, becoming the speakers officer for the Economics Society, being class rep for Politics and International Relations and getting involved as a manager for the recent Yes Constitution campaign as well as working on the Marriage Equality campaign and the voter registration drive in semester one.
It is through these campaigns that Dockery says he has come to know the Student Union and what they do. He believes that bringing the role of C&C back is a “massive step forward for the Union” in helping them to connect with the student body. Students are unaware of the undertakings of the SU, claims Dockery, citing his own ignorance of their work prior to this year. Having met students through campaigning he believes that they want to be engaged with and that his experience has equipped him to perform such a duty through C&C.
Along with engaging students Dockery sees the role of C&C as being “someone who everyone knows on campus”, to whom students. Giving support and advice to students comes under the remit of the office, according to Dockery, saying that students should approach the C&C officer when having problems such as finding accommodation or dealing with SUSI.
When pressed as to whether or not it was right to bring back C&C when convenors are currently doing the job Dockery was adamant that the office was necessary. Convenors, he says, have been doing a tremendous job but college commitments put limitations upon how much work they can do, an issue a sabbatical officer wouldn’t suffer from.
Increasing student engagement is a priority of Dockery’s. Running more Student Union clinics across all UCD campuses as well as holding coffee mornings are ways in which, he contends, people will get to know him and the SU better. However it was put to Dockery that these events would mostly attract people already interested in the SU and what could he do to engage with other students. He said that students were already “aware that the SU is there but might only need it once a year” and that events such as coffee mornings will draw people who hitherto had no interest in the Union.
Dockery’s manifesto states a desire to take advantage of the forthcoming general election to make government act on student issues. Dockery believes that UCD student population is large enough to wield influence, though he did state that he is willing to work alongside other unions as well as the USI.
Dockery clearly hopes that C&C will become a positive position in the UCDSU. Both in conversation and in his manifesto he expresses great passion for the job, however only time will tell if he has concrete plans to back up his promises.