YOUR SABBATICAL OFFICERS
My name is Ruairí and I'm your Students' Union President. I'm a psychology undergrad student from Clarecastle in Co. Clare. I got involved in the Students' Union for the first time in 2020 during the protests against rent increases on campus. I was the Welfare Officer for the last year and am pure buzzed to be sticking around for another as President.
My main focus for the year is working to tackle the rampant commercialisation of the higher education sector so we can create a more accessible, affordable and welcoming UCD. If there's something you would like the SU to work on this year, we'd love to hear from you.
Give me a shout at Ruairi.Power@ucdsu.ie
My name is Carla Gummerson, I am 33 and I am from Wicklow. I have a bachelor’s in social science and a master’s degree in public policy. I was the Auditor of the Mature Student Society for two years, during which I had the ability to gain great skills but most importantly I made some great friends. For the past year I have been your Graduate Officer and I am very thankful to have another year of helping and supporting UCD students.
I will be putting on events for postgraduate students, support them with various academic issues, and I will be providing a PhD Conference Fund.
I am very excited about the year ahead. I cannot wait to reach out to students to guide and empower them during the year. If you ever need support or would like to see your graduate officer doing something specific like an event or campaign, please reach out by email to email@example.com
My name is Aoife Bracken and I am your Education Officer.
I completed my undergraduate in Politics and International Relations this year. During my time in UCD I’ve been a Class Rep, an OCM and Auditor of the Politics and International Relations Society, and I’ve been a volunteer with UCD Volunteers Overseas.
I was also lucky enough to get through half of my Erasmus+ year in Cologne, Germany before COVID-19 pushed everything online. As your Education Officer I will be a helping hand for students who need advice and assistance on academic issues.
CAMPAIGNS & ENGAGEMENT OFFICER
I'm Darryl Horan and I'm your incoming Campaigns & Engagement Officer. A bit about myself, I'm 23, from Laois and just finishing up a Masters in Global History. I am no stranger to campaigning, I've been involved in take back the city, the climate strike protests of 2020 and more recently anti-racism initiatives like Unite Against Racism and Le Chéile.
As your Campaigns officer I want to help rebuild student activism. This will mean getting back out to students and running on the ground campaigns. Let's build student power and I hope to see you there!
Hey there, my name is Molly Greenough and I’m your Welfare Officer! I’m 22 years old and originally from Boston, Massachusetts. I’ve spent the past four years in Dublin and just finished up my final year of Law with Social Justice.
The SU has been a constant fixture in my life during my time in UCD, sparking my passion for student representation and activism. The four main areas I want to focus on this year are: mental health, housing, harm reduction, and sexual health and wellbeing.
As well, I will dedicate myself to casework and being an approachable, compassionate, and an understanding first point of contact for any student in need— whether you’re facing mental health, financial, physical or sexual health difficulties. Please get in touch with any issues, we’re all here to support you!
I'm Sarah and I'm your Entertainments or Ents Officer. It'll be my aim to bring back the craic on campus (as restrictions on in-person activities ease!), with lots of acts, workshops, nights out and plenty of events. Charities will be another big focus. This year we will be supporting Empower the Family through the volunteer programme we set up with them last year and through fundraising.
If you're interested in getting involved in Ents (being at the heart of helping out with events!) or want to know more about it, don't hesitate to pop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a DM on Instagram @the_entstagram!
WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO
UCD Students’ Union – What’s the story?
UCD Students’ Union was founded in 1975 by UCD students, for UCD students. That’s almost half a century of advocating on behalf of generations of UCD students and fighting to defend their interests, both on-campus and in wider society. We are present right throughout the university committee structure, communicating the unfettered student voice through our democratically elected Officers. The Students’ Union campaigns so that all who pass through UCD can avail of a quality academic and student experience while they are here, regardless of their background. We are ambitious for UCD students, for their futures and for the potential behind our vision for higher education. On a societal level, UCD students have a proud tradition of pushing for progressive change and advocate for fairer, more just and compassionate Ireland.
UCDSU came about because students believe in a fair and equitable education system, and the need to make such a system accountable to its main stakeholder. UCDSU is the vehicle that UCD students use to ensure that they remain the main stakeholder in all aspects of university decision-making.
Our motto is ‘Empowering Students’, which speaks to our desire to help UCD students take ownership of their student experience and get the absolute most out of it. We also work to ensure that UCD students feel empowered through getting involved directly in SU campaigns and events, as we are only as strong as our ability to come together as a collective.
How does it all work?
UCD Students’ Union is an organisation dedicated ensuring fairness, opportunities and a voice for the whole student community within the university. Students become members once they register as a UCD student. As a democratic, member-led organisation, students choose their class reps, who, as well as dealing with issues at a local level as they arise, steer SU policy at Union Council, which is the highest decision-making body within UCDSU. Every year, students vote to elect a new team of Full Time and Part Time Officers. Any registered UCD student can put themselves forward for election.
On a day-to-day basis in the UCDSU office, any student can reach out to the six Sabbatical Officers for help on any issue impacting their academic or non-academic lives. The UCDSU Constitution established a professional organisation and a Company Limited by Guarantee so that the student voice in UCD has the platform that it needs. The elected officers are supported by a body of staff dedicated to the cause.
What does UCD Students’ Union do?
UCD Students’ Union is committed to being omnipresent in the lives of UCD students and as far as organisations go, is about as multifaceted as they come! Collectively, we are often at several things at once. We offer a range of supports and services, both online and in-person. Whatever the issue, if it impacts on your time as a UCD student then UCD Students’ Union is on your side.
Each of the Sabbatical Officers has responsibility for their own brief and work as a team to deliver the best representation and support to students. The team is headed up by the SU President. The President is the lead representative of UCD students and the Chief Spokesperson of the organisation. It is their role to ensure that the rest of the elected team perform to the best of their abilities on your behalf.
Academically, we offer advice, peer peer-to-peer support and representation, where needed and at any stage of the UCD student journey. Our Education Officer can help with exam queries, advice on navigating UCD and signposting students to get all issues resolved. Of course, external factors can have a negative impact on the UCD student journey and UCDSU understands that. Our Welfare Officer leads up our support offering for those challenges not directly related to academia, such as issues that arise with student accommodation, mental health and sexual health. Throughout the year we run a number of welfare campaigns geared towards empowering students by arming them with the key information and life-hacks they need. Our Graduate Officer works closely alongside the Education and Welfare Officers but is there to work specifically on behalf graduate students.
Because what you do inside the classroom is only one part of your college experience, your SU has an Entertainments (or “Ents”) Officer to oversee all of our social events from the big occasions such as Freshers Week and formal balls. The Ents Officer also helps to coordinate student fundraising efforts. Last but by no means least, our Campaigns & Engagement Officer works alongside the other officers to bring their campaigns to life. They coordinate the recruitment and activity of class reps and are responsible for the promotion of all SU elections and referendums. The C&E Officer also manages SU documents and publications and works closely with the President to manage the political agenda laid out by Union Council.
Union Council is the governing body of UCD Students' Union. It steers the work of the Union and its elected Officers by agreeing on policy and mandates. Every October, each class elects their reps who sit on Union Council, which meets every two weeks during term time. Union Council is where the student body’s stance on issues is decided and comprises of Class Reps, College Officers, Campaign Coordinators, Entertainments Reps and Sabbatical Officers. An Independent Chairperson and Secretary is appointed to ensure the smooth running of the meetings.
Full-Time and Part-Time Officers must present a report to Union Council on what they have been working on and other members of Council can ask them questions about it. Any member of the students’ union can address Union Council meetings if invited to speak by a Council member but only elected Council members can vote.
If you are a student and you want to make a policy change, get in touch with your Class Rep or College Officer and they can bring forward an amendment on your behalf. If there is a particular area of focus that you think the SU or an individual officer should be working on then you can ask your class rep or another Council member to bring forward a motion for debate. This is often how the campaigns that make the most impact begin!
The current set of policies that Union Council has voted in favour of is available HERE - it also contains all the mandates that are passed through Council.
Want to know more about the rules by which the Council operates? Check out our Council Standing Orders HERE
Council Dates 2022/23: To be announced