Vote Stav for Welfare • Major Focus on Mental Health
• Designated Hours on Satellite Campuses • Focus on One-to-One Experience • Bigger Campaigns
• Spreading Awareness for Health and Safety
Contents About me Case Work Mental Health Sexual Health Health and Safety Equality Financial Issues Accommodation Satellite Campuses Campaigns Conclusion
About me My name is Kyros Stavrianos and I would love to become your Welfare Officer for the coming year 2014-2015. My reason for running for this position is because I want to help, and I will give my all for my fellow students. No matter how heavy or hard the work load, or how many hours I’d have to put in, I will give everything to help and improve people’s lives. Since starting college in 2011, I’ve had friends suffering from depression, bipolar and even being suicidal. This made a big impact on me, I was always there to help my friends through their pain and the fact that I could help other people is incredible and is what is driving me forward. I’m currently studying a BA which includes Applied Psychology so I’ve seen, understand and can help with many mental, health and emotional problems that people suffer from. I’ve been working in the UCC Student Centre for the last 2 year so have plenty of experience in helping and dealing with students. For these reasons I believe I can approach any situation with professionalism and experience. This is a big position that requires a lot of responsibly, and I believe I’m the right person for the job. I know I’ll be able to help anybody that would come to me. The opportunity to help others means a lot and hopefully I’ll be given the chance to do so. Please support me and vote Kyros Stavrianos for Welfare.
Case Work Case work is the main and most important aspect of the Welfare Officer. Case work means dealing with any issue from any student. Whatever the issue or case I believe I can provide the right help while being confidential and professional in doing so. I know I’d be able to bring the best one-to-one experience available to any person. Whatever a student may need whether it is just someone to talk to, advice or more - I’d provide this service to the best of my ability and with complete discretion. My door would be open at any time for anyone wanting to see me. The students come first.
Mental Health Mental health is of huge importance to me. Having seen many people go through mental health problems, I believe it’s provided me with experience that I could use to help others. I believe mental health has to be promoted more around campus and as much as possible because it is a huge issue in today’s world. There are so many people who suffer from issues such as depression, bipolar disorder, suicidal thoughts, low self-esteem, anxiety problems, stress, eating disorders and more, and it is essential that there is place for these people to go to for help. I would offer that service and be there to help anybody as best as possible. Many people find it extremely difficult to go and see a counsellor or seek help. As a student, the college welfare officer is in many ways more approachable for someone seeking guidance. 2
This is a service I’d promote more so everyone with a problem will know there is a place to go.
Sexual Health The sexual health of students is particularly important. Many students are sexually active during their college years and it is very important to practise safe sex. Condoms can be collected free of charge at the Welfare office so there is no reason not to protect yourself. Regardless, unprotected sex does occur - especially after alcohol consumption. Unprotected sex can lead to pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. When such situations occur it can be very traumatic for a student, so it is vital that there is somewhere to go and someone to turn to for support and help. Whether it be an unplanned pregnancy, an STI or just a worry, my goal is to make sure that a person will feel comfortable in coming to the Welfare officer for assistance, no matter what the problem.
Health and Safety It is very important for students to stay safe and healthy during their college years. There have been many occasions during the last few years where students have been attacked, mugged and left in dangerous situations. Students should try and make sure they never end up alone when out during the night. One significant thing I’d like to promote more is the student night bus which takes people near their homes from town for a low cost. Following on from the self-defence classes that were brought up last year, I would like to strengthen this area and get more people involved which will hopefully help prevent assaults and rape. In regards to health, it is vital students look after themselves to prevent missing class and having their grades suffer. The last thing anyone wants is to end up sick when exams and assignment deadlines are approaching. Emphasis has to be placed on healthy eating, getting plenty of sleep and looking after oneself to get the best degree possible. For people who struggle in finding ways to purchase food, there are cheap alternatives available such as CollegeDinners which feeds students for a week at a very reasonable price of €12. I’d like to promote this further so more people can avail of the service, as well as try to find other alternative sources of cheap food for the students. Alcohol plays a big part in student life. There are students consuming alcohol every week and though it is a big part of college life, it has to be balanced with one’s studies. My aim with alcohol awareness is to emphasise how important it is to balance both the enjoyment and work side of college to get the best of both worlds. It is easy to lose track of one’s studies, therefore my plan is to promote alcohol awareness and hold talks to help people understand how important it is to stay level-headed and keep in control of both sides of college life.
Equality Equality is of the upmost importance and I will do my very best to make sure that everybody is treated as equal. I plan to work alongside the Equality Officer and The Equality Working group in helping to spread equality all across campus. I will give everyone the best support possible. The LGBT, mature students and those with disabilities all deserve the full support of UCC and all deserve to be treated equal. I also plan to run an Equality campaign to spread awareness of the issue. No matter whom the person, they should be allowed express themselves freely and enjoy the best college experience possible without having any fears.
Financial Issues Financial concerns are generally one of a student’s main worries. Many students suffer from financial difficulty for simple reasons such as not being employed while at college, living away from home or just having less financial stability than average. I’d like to hold talks on “How Students Should Budget” in an attempt to help students manage their money better and improve their standard of living. I’d also like to help work with the Students Assistance Fund (S.A.F) to make sure that the students most in need are those that get awarded the money. The S.A.F is a very important scheme and helps out many students, I believe in trying to strengthen the fund to help as many students as possible. I’d also try and tackle the issue of grants. Many grants have been coming in late this year, and it is not acceptable. It has left many people short on cash and struggling financially. This is a problem that needs to be sorted sooner rather than later and I would try my best in doing just that.
Accommodation While the Student Accommodation Office is available to help students with housing problems, I also feel that offering help from the welfare office is of big benefit. Having gone through accommodation problems myself, I know exactly how it feels when being left needing help. I would encourage people to come see me with accommodation problems as I have enough experience in that area to be of massive help. Whether it be looking for a house and keeping to a budget, complaining about housemates or a landlord or any other accommodation problems that can arise, I would give my all in helping find the best solution to the problem. Along with the services available from the accommodation office, I believe that offering the same help from the welfare office would help reduce housing problems among students significantly.
Satellite Campuses One thing I feel that needs to be improved is the Welfare on satellite campuses. There are many students whose lectures are mainly on Brookfield and the Western Gateway building which means there are students who spend very little time on main campus. One of my main aspects as Welfare officer would be to have a certain number of clinic hours in satellite
campuses every week, to offer all students the best chance of assistance with any problems that might arise.
Campaigns Campaigns are a big part of being welfare officer, and I’d like to organise the biggest mental health week UCC has ever seen. Mental Health is a huge issue and there are many people unaware of how serious it is. My plan is to spread awareness all over campus to help people realise how common these problems are and that there is always someone to turn to for help in these types of situations. Another big campaign that occurs during the college year is Sexual Health Awareness and Guidance (SHAG) week. This is an important week as it informs students of all the risks that are associated with sexual activities. I’d like to emphasise how important the practice of safe sex is and the consequences that come with unprotected intercourse. During SHAG week, I plan to raise awareness of the consequences of unsafe sex using methods such as posters, leaflets and holding talks. I would also try and organise free STI tests for students during SHAG week, by doing so trying to help reduce worry and sexual health problems that students may have. Other campaigns that I’d like to see running during the year are a Culture campaign: to help include and settle the international students into UCC as much as possible. Living away from home without knowing other people can be very difficult so it is vital we do as much as we can to help everyone feel happy in the college. Financial Campaign: to try and help those many students who struggle financially by holding workshops on how to budget efficiently and spreading awareness of the different services that help with money problems. Equality Campaign: to raise and spread the awareness of how each and every person should be treated as equal. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) society is one of the biggest societies in the college and also one of the most active societies on campus. It is important that this continues and that awareness is spread around so that everyone is comfortable and that nobody will be afraid to come out. Every student should be happy and able to express themselves freely. Disability Campaign: to campaign for the inclusion of those students with disabilities in all aspects of college life such as being involved in clubs and societies, as well as making sure that all areas and events are accessible for wheelchair users. Every student should be treated equal and all have the best experience possible while attending college.
Conclusion In conclusion I want to become your Welfare Officer because I will give everything I have to the job. I want to help my fellow students in every way I possibly can. I’ve had friends go through very tough times and I don’t want to see anyone else go through pain that may be avoided with the right help. I’ve studied psychology and mental health problems so I’m well able to understand and help in this area. I also have been working in the student centre the last 2 years so I have great experience in dealing with the students. I’ll offer the best one-to-one experience available for any student that comes to my door. Case work is a very big part of the job and I’ll be able to deal with any problem from any person that comes to me. The students will always come first. Mental health is a massive concern in today’s world and not enough people are aware of how common these problems are. I will spread awareness of these issues and try and inform everybody on campus of how serious this issue is. When people are afraid to approach a professional to get help, the Welfare Officer is the person to come and see and I’d make sure to give the best advice, help and support that I possibly can. I will be there to offer sexual advice and provide contraception for people as well as spread awareness of the consequences of not using protection during sexual intercourse. I’d promote the night bus more often to help students get home safely after being out during the night. Also I’d raise alcohol awareness and the importance of staying healthy to help students get the best degrees they possibly can. I will support the issue of equality as much as possible to make sure every student gets to express themselves freely and enjoy the best college life possible. I will do my best in tackling the problem of grants coming in late. I would also like to work with the Students Assistance Fund to make sure the most deserving people are getting the money they deserve. On top of this I will hold a financial campaign and organise workshops on how to budget properly. I’ll be there as another option for anyone who has accommodation problems and help come up with the best solution possible for any student. I will hold a certain number of clinic hours on satellite campuses every week. I will run big campaigns for Mental Health Week and Shag Week, as well as running culture, financial, equality and disability campaigns throughout the year.
Please give me the chance to help as many people as possible and be there for my fellow students. Vote Kyros Stavrianos for Welfare Officer 2014-2015.