Sabbatical Officer at UCC Students' Union
Ciara Kealy for Vice President for the Southern Region
Hi everyone, my name is Ciara Kealy and I’m running in this years USI Elections for the role of Vice President for the Southern Region.
Last March I was lucky enough to be elected as the Deputy President and Campaigns Officer for UCC Students’ Union. Throughout this year I have made sure that I didn’t squander this opportunity by throwing myself into my work and trying to engage as much as possible with the USI. Among other things, I ran for a position in USI’s Campaigns Strategy Committee and got a seat, I attended SUT and SUT+, I received Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training and I was lucky enough to attend Cyprus for the 39th European Students’ Convention.
This year both myself and my team faced many challenges, however we came together to fight injustice to students and that’s what I promise to keep on doing should I be elected as your Vice President for the Southern Region.
We faced battling a €200 increase in the capitation fee before we even began our roles. I co-organised an occupation by the President’s Office to battle this decision, and after months of talks with the University, the money was refunded to students. More recently, we staged another occupation, this time on the Quad protesting the increase in UCC Campus Accommodation. We demanded that the decision to increase rent by 3% is reversed and that the board commit to a three year rent freeze.
We know that student hardship is such a pressing issue affecting more and more students every year so in all my work this year, as part of UCCSU, I have never stopped thinking about the individual student and how every decision could impact that student. I will continue to fight every single day to ensure that access to education isn’t dependent on your financial situation.
Ensuring the student voice is both represented and heard is imperative to me. I’ve spoken up about student issues, and successes, in UCC and now I would like the chance to speak up and represent students in the Southern Region. Howwever, I don’t want to only be a vote for these students. I want to make sure that these students can find their own voice and shout alongside me.
I truly believe that my experience, my passion and my drive makes me the best candidate for this role. If elected I promise to be a voice for those who cannot currently stand up and fight back. I promise to be a voice for the students who are being locked out of education. I promise to be a support for you, your students and the South.
Le grá, Ciara