Executive Team Member at USI
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Clare Austick for USI President
My name is Clare Austick and I am hoping to be the next President of the Union of Students in Ireland.
I’m from Galway and studied Chemistry in NUI Galway. I began my journey in the student movement 6 years ago, as a dedicated, enthusiastic class rep, where I became immersed in the world of student activism. I saw first-hand the influence that Students’ Unions had on improving the college experience for all. I was further elected the part-time Equality Officer, the Vice President for Welfare & Equality and then President of NUI Galway Students’ Union. This year I have had the immense honour of being the Vice President for Welfare with the Union of Students in Ireland.
I have seen how the student movement has grown and evolved over the years to meet the needs of students and tackle emerging issues hands on. This year has been like no other in the entire history of the Union of Students in Ireland. We have seen the global pandemic place additional pressures on an already flawed education system that we have been calling to reform for years. Existing struggles around the funding of further and higher education, student wellbeing, financial hardship, accommodation, the accessibility of support services, the teaching and learning environment, and methods of assessments have been exacerbated by Covid-19.
The way in which USI will operate and function in the next year will be crucial in paving the way forward for the student movement. We have many challenges ahead of us when it comes to the knock-on effects brought by the pandemic, including: potential funding cuts to education, course delivery, the autonomy of Students’ Unions, student mental health, and protecting student representation at the top tables. I think we’ve come such a long way in the 62 years of our very existence. However, the challenges we have faced for a decade, are still the challenges students face today.
I want to ensure the Union of Students in Ireland is the most effective and efficient it can be for our members and continues to hold the student voice at the centre of everything we do. I am passionate, experienced, committed, and fully ready to lead a movement that benefits and works for us all.
Last year, I asked for you to place your trust in me as the Vice President for Welfare. I have loved every single minute of this role and I will be forever grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to further the welfare remit on a national level this year. All my years in the student movement, both locally and nationally have lead me to this very point. I still have the same passion, love, drive and motivation for the student movement as I did when I ran in my very first election all those years ago. I care, I act on my words and fully believe in the strength and potential of this organisation. I hope you can place your trust in me once more to lead the Union of Students in Ireland. I promise to work tirelessly on your behalf and will ensure you have the best college experience. I wish you the very best and hope you enjoy our annual Congress of 2021!
Ní neart go cur le chéile.