Day 3 – Let’s Talk Finance Economic cutbacks have affected every single student in UCD in some way, with a shortage of parttime jobs and the rising price of accommodation; it can be extremely difficult to manage your money. I will ensure that all students are made aware of the financial assistance funds that are available to them through the use of social media, lecture addressing and the class rep system. Sometimes it can be difficult and confusing to fill out all the necessary documentation in applying for these funds – I will always be there to help in any way I can, but I will also ensure that all financial funds can be applied for online, making the process quicker, easier and more convenient. Keeping track of your money can be hard at the best of times, but the best thing to do is plan ahead by keeping to a budget. But if budgeting makes such a big difference, why don’t we all do it? Simple – because it’s boring and time consuming!! I guarantee to launch a UCD Student Budgeting App which will be available online and on your Smartphone; making it easy to access even when you’re on the go! Prices from the SU shops, Clever Cuisine, the health centre will be integrated into the app. I will also source products and services in the local vicinity over the summer and include the best value ones in the app – e.g. cinema, taxi price per km etc. This makes managing your money much easier and more efficient. Since the Union last investigated launching an app, technology has moved forward quite a bit and the price of production has decreased phenomenally. The app can be written on a platform like Phonegap or Titanium and I would seek a student designer to write the code. This would significantly reduce the cost of development and I would seek sponsorship to cover any costs that are incurred.
It can be so difficult to find part-time employment at the moment in Ireland, this is why it is so important that we focus on self-development and making ourselves stand out from the crowd. I will develop an ‘All Rounder Award’ within the University. Students will be awarded for partaking in a certain number of hours volunteering work with the Welfare Crew/St Vincent de Paul along with attending a number of academic seminars on areas such as employment law and health & safety, as well as a number of practical trainings in cashing up tills, manual handling, barista skills etc. The combination of these activities gives participants a unique skill set which would put students at the very top of the list when seeking employment. I will also negotiate with the Irish Business and Employer’s Confederation (IBEC) to have the award recognised, further adding to its benefit and prestige.
As the role of Campaigns and Communications Officer will no longer exist next year, I promise to take on the responsibility of compiling the part-time jobs list and circulating it to students. I also guarantee to ensure that all class reps distribute the list to their class to make sure that all students have equal opportunity and access to this information. Our Student Welfare Fund is a vital support for many students and it is crucial that it is always has adequate funds available to help all those in need. If elected I will establish a donor campaign with the Alumni Foundation to benefit the fund. This would be one of the first calls I would make in the position and would involve working with the Foundation to get the contact details of alumni who have come out the other side of university and are in a position to donate. It would require a group of dedicated trained students to come together on a regular basis and contact the alumni to seek donations. This could make a huge difference to Welfare Fund and ensure that there is support available to students who need it. I will also introduce course in Life Skills to the University. This will give students the opportunity to sign up to practical courses offering chance to further your development outside of the academic world. Course will include for example â€“ First Aid, Sign Language, Manual Handling, Self Defence, ASSIST Training and Cardiac First Responder. These classes are provided for free or at a reduced rate giving you a chance to learn a new skill which, in some cases, could save someone's life. This is also a great chance to broaden your CV. A similar programme has been offered in NUIG with great success. For more information on my ideas or to get involved, email email@example.com
Ciara's idea's from Finance and details of what she aims to achieve with them and how she'll bring them about