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Jerome Wholihane

UCC Societies Guild 2014/2015 OCM Manifesto

A Little Bit About Me:


My name is Jerome Wholihane and I am a third year International Development and Food Policy student. I currently sit on three committees; I am the Auditor of the International Development Society, an OCM on the Amnesty International Society and the Deputy PRO of UCC LGBT* society. This year I have also sat on the Guild Strategic Planning Committee. Societies have been a big part of my life for the past two years. I joined my first society International Development in my second year as the societies Media Officer which involved hosting the weekly International Development Radio show, I was also an Amnesty school speaker in second year. This year alongside the committees that I sit on I have been working on getting a UCC Trocaire Society set up. For me, as is the case with many students, my involvement in Societies has been an invaluable addition to college life. It has given me confidence to interact with people and to express both my views and opinions in a clear and concise manner. Should I be fortunate enough to get your vote on the 27th, it is my intention as a member of the Societies Guild to make sure that every student who enters UCC has an equal oppurtunity to join societies and enjoy them as much as I have.

My Experience: •

As the Auditor of the International Development Society I organised our inaugral conference which examined the progress towards the Millennium Development


Goals. The society received a lot of positive feedback from the participants and attendees. •

I also chaired the organising committee of HIV/Aids Awareness Week this involved coordinating between five different societies and HIV/Aids organisations.

I was part of the filming and premiering of a documentary on Forced Labour in Ireland as part of the International Development society in collaboration with Trocaire.

I am currently an OCM on the Amnesty International society. As an OCM I was part of organising the award winning Activism Week and I also gave a workshop at the Amnesty National Youth conference.

I gave a talk on short notice on the ongoing conflict in Syria for Amnesty International after a speaker pulled out of the event.

On LGBT* I am the deputy PRO. My main duties are flyering and postering. I was also responsible for researching and finding all the relevant information and materials required for events such as Umbrella Week. I organised a campaign against the introduction of the €20 contraception pill fee introduced this year by the UCC Health Center.

• •

This year I was an active member on the Societies Guild Strategic Plan committee

I was actively engaged with the Watch Your Mouth campaign examining the racist part of the campaign. I designed an anti racism poster for the campaign.

I am currently an Amnesty International school speaker which involves visiting CSPE class’s to discuss the work that Amnesty does both in Ireland and around the world.


Brief Overview: •

I aim to improve UCC Works through simplifying the application process and better communication of how UCC Works process operates to Auditors.

The introduction of an all committee members day out in an adventure park similar to Auditors training. This would be at the expense of committee members.

I will examine the possibility of moving high volume training sessions such as Photoshop training to a computer lab.

The creation of training videos.

Making sure that the events wall on the Societies website is being updated on a regular basis.

The creation of a map with locations of societies notice boards across campus and the promotion of lesser known notice board locations such as outside the mature student common room.

Promotion of special projects apps being used to enable academic societies to go to academic events abroad.

The release of twice yearly financial report by the Societies Guild that is sent to all societies members.

Increase the participation of first years by working with the incoming SU Education Officer Joe Kennedy and getting the Development and Organisation officer to give a talk at class rep training.

I aim to have speaker development training available to all first year reps.

I will encourage societies to be out in force on orientation day and for societies to share their stands with their respective courses on open days.

The introduction of a suggested quota system of say three collaberative events a year. This will increase engagement between small and large societies.

Promote alcohol free events by asking societies to hold at least two alcohol free events a year.

I would create a list of disability friendly venues along with a list of bus companies, bands etc.

Either having an online suggestion box or a physical suggestion box in the hub.

Introducing a clean as you go policy in the hub and cleaning the mac keyboards in the Hub once a week.


I want to continue the work that I have done around the Strategic Plan to see the targets and goals laid out in the plan come to fruition.

Training: When it comes to training we are already doing a lot of things right but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be improved. UCC Works UCC Works was a fantastic iniative that gave members of societies the recognition that they deserve. Sadly the system was difficult to navigate and at times people simply did not know what was happening. If elected one of my main focus’s will be the improvement of UCC Works. At Auditors training there will be a talk given telling incoming auditors exactly how UCC Works is done and also there will be a filled out sample UCC Works application in all Auditor packs. This sample will also be sent out to anyone who signs up to UCC Works. A major worry for many people was not knowing whether or not they had actually been signed up or not, thankfully this should be a relatively easy fix by having an online sign up system through portal. After speaking with this years training officer I realised that meetings with UCC Staff about UCC Works were not being attended by the same people this led to unnecessary confusion and people going around in circles. I will make sure that it is the same staff member who attends each meeting. Auditors training Auditors training is a fantastic two day event that brings auditors together in a fun and friendly environment. Next year we must continue the success of the last number of years while making sure that any changes such as UCC Works presentations are facilitated. Another extra thing that I would add to the Auditors training would be that someone from Peer Support would come and give a talk on how auditors can facilitate first years becoming active members of societies. All Committee Day Out Given the ongoing success of Auditors training if elected I would like to see a daylong event run for other committee members an example of this would be going to an adventure park and having a social when they got back to Cork. This wouldn’t necessarily have to be at the expense of the Societies Guild as committee members themselves could pay for it. Photoshop and Training Video


Over the last number of years the idea of having training videos done has been mentioned. This is something that I think should be made a priority because the videos can be used to reference back to and refresh skill months after the actual training has taken place. One of the things that I noticed at this year’s Photoshop training sessions was that many of them were very full and that there were often two people to a computer. I would like to see Photoshop training sessions moved to one of the computer labs in the Western Gateway Building or the Kane.

PR and Media: PR and Media is arguably one of the most important aspects of the Societies Guild. After all if the Societies Guild is inefficient when it comes to PR then it makes it very difficult for societies to get sufficient coverage for their events. Press Releases One way that societies interactions with the media could be improved is by ensuring that societies know how to make a press release this could be part of training for PRO’s. Making sure that a press release template is easily available will also help. Guild Website At present the events wall on the societies guild website is not being updated this is a major problem as it is a barrier to students finding out when and where events are taking place. This is a problem that should be addressed in the coming year and I believe rectifying it will have a major impact on engagement. Points of contacts with Media/other outlets Next year we must make sure that there is a list of points of contacts for the different media outlets such as Red FM and the Evening Echo. There should be like this year a up to date list of bus companies, bands etc. Socs Radio There have been some very good PR and Media initiatives this year’s such as Socs Radio. The success of this program needs to be built on and an easy way that this could be done would be by having it playing in the hub. Posters The ORB is one of the busiest buildings in UCC but sadly there is no Societies notice board in the building. I feel that this is a massive missed PR opportunity, if elected I will try my hardest so that we can either get a societies TV or noticeboard in the ORB. I also want to create a map of all locations on campus where there are societies noticeboards, this should


mean that less well known noticeboards such as the one near the Mature student common room will be used more often.

Finance: This year has seen a major improvement in the way that finances are dealt with by the Guild. I hope to build on the strong groundwork laid down by this year’s guild in relation to finance. There are a number of ways that I would do this. Academic Trips Abroad First of all at present many academic societies are feeling held back because they do not believe they are able to apply for trips abroad. This is resulting in many societies missing out on invaluable opportunities to broaden their academic horizons at conferences and events outside of Ireland. The first step in rectifying this would be making sure that academic societies know that if there is a conference or event abroad that they feel would have a significant impact on their members that they can apply through a special projects app. Twice Yearly Reports Finally I believe that there needs to be greater communication to society members of where their Societies Guild is spending their money. What I would propose doing would be to release a twice yearly report of how much money the Societies Guild as a whole spent on transport, speaker fees, etc. These twice yearly releases could coincide with an email updating students about the great events that had taken place so far that year. Sponsorship I believe that sponsorship is an underutilised way of cutting down costs at the moment. If elected I would compile a list of business’s that have sponsored societies before. I would also meet with societies that have a track record of getting sponsorship and find out what they feel the best methods for getting sponsorship are.


Development and Engagement: Engagement with outside organisations One of the things that I would like to see improved in the coming year is the level of engagement with outside organisations. At present I believe that there is a lot of potential for societies to work hand in hand with outside organisations such as the Cork Sexual Violence center and the migrants rights NGO Nasc. I would be able to use my experience of dealing with outside organisations to help other societies build up these relationships like I have with Nasc for example through the International Development Society. Engagement with First Years One of the main ways that we can get greater engagment would be through first years. To get greater engagement with the first years I would start with the first year SU class reps. I have already spoken with the incoming education officer for the SU Joe Kenneddy about having the Development and Engagment officer talk to incoming SU class reps at class rep training. One of the problems that faces many first year reps on societies is that they have difficulty around public speaking. What I would suggest doing would be have speaker training for first year reps . Those that facilitated this would be able to get time towards their UCC WorksAt Auditors training there will be someone from Peer Support giving a talk on how to make first years feel more welcome in societies. Sign Up and Course Open Days A number of societies already sign people up during the orientation days which I think is fantastic and should be spread to other societies. It will be easier to do this next year because orientations will not be so spread out over two week’s instead it will be over five days. With the International Development society we have had stands at the course open days, we found that this has been a really good way of benefitting both the course and society because when prospective first years see the course and the society together they see that there is a social aspect to the course and a chance to go to conferences and organise one.


Events and Entertainment Collaborations With regards to collaborations I would like to see more collaborations between small and large societies. I believe that more collaborations between small and large societies will help develop small societies and also give large societies an insight into how to improve membership development which is something that small societies in general are very good at. One way of doing this would be having a suggested quota of say for example of three collarborative events a year. If I get elected I would also encourage societies within my repping group to collaberate with each other. Alcohol Free Social Events/Socials I would encourage more alcohol free events such as ice skating and cinema nights . These alcohol free events are a great way to get people who don’t drink involved in societies. Many people who don’t drink feel that they are unable to get fully involved in society because a lot of society social events do revolve around alcohol. I would ask that societies to at least two alcohol free social events every term. Many events locations are not disability friendly, I would come up with a list of diability friendly venues and make sure that all societies have access to it. For events that do end up in a pub I will contact pubs and venues to get them to do promotions similar to those done by the Francisscan Well. Raise and Give Week Raise and Give week is an incredibly successful weeklong event that raises money for worthy causes. This year I feel that there wasn’t enough advertising of the week in the weeks leading up to Raise and Give week. One way that I would improve this would be to have more prominent posters displayed in the weeks leading up to Raise and Week. Kylemore and Devere Hall One of the major issues that I found when organising the Millennium Development Goals was having to pay for services in the Devere Hall even though it is a building paid for by students. Thankfully this is a problem that now appears to be resolved, although next year it is important that the incoming Societies Guild has a signed agreement with Devere Hall clearly setting out costs. Next year Kylemores contract runs out this gives us an oppurtunity to shape catering on campus for the coming years. If elected I will ensure that societies have a central role in any discussions with catering companies.

The Hub The Hub Itself The Hub project is going to be the future of societies. It is important that societies remain at the core of descision making in relation to the project. If I am elected I will work my hardest to ensure that this happens. Realistically though we are going to have to work with the Hub


that we have at the moment. I have a number of simple ideas that should improve the hub. The first of this is putting a shelf above the sofas to store spare paper and other supplies. I would also put a suggestions box either on portal or a physical one in the Hub itself. The first thing I would do in August would be a clear out of the shed and also getting a clearly defined boundary for the garden area. Also I would have a clean as you go policy in the hub because it is unfair on other people for the hub to be messy. I would examine the possibility of having an auto shutdown system on the Macs at night.

Space In relation to space it is good that we have got space next to the CEC. Despite this there is still major issues surrounding space for societies I believe that there can be greater utilisation of the space behind the hub once the motorcycle club shed is gone. I would suggest that a committee be formed at the start of the year to see what the space would be best used for. It is worth keeping in mind though that it would be difficult to build a new structure. There can also be simple things done like the buying of new carts.

Thank You I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my manifesto. If you have any questions or suggestions please don’t hesitate to contact me either by email at j.wholihane@umail.ucc.ie or phone me at 087-9978631. Finally if you want someone who is passionate, dedicated and hardworking on your Societies Guild then vote Jerome Wholihane for Guild OCM on Thursday the 27th. Mise Le Meas, Jerome Wholihane.


Jerome Wholihane Societies Guild OCM 2014/2015 Manifesto