Day 4 – Equality in UCD This year, for the first time ever welfare has been combined with the area of equality. I understand the importance and complexity of this area having been an active campaigner in all areas of equality in my role as Gender Equality Coordinator. LGBT Currently in Ireland there is a shortage of blood donations, yet men who have sex with men (MSM) are banned from donating blood. This both unfair and discriminatory. This year I worked with the LGBT Right Coordinator on the ‘Give Blood Because We Can’t’ Campaign. I want to step this up a notch by coordinating a working group to run a ‘Donation not Discrimination’ Campaign. I will work over the course of the summer, through demos, petitions and online to lobby for the end of this practice. Sometimes people forget that gender encompasses more than just the binary male and female and there is in fact a whole gender spectrum. I will work to ensure that at least one gender neutral bathroom is provided on campus. This would simply require the University to re-designate a bathroom in a central location on campus for students who wish to use it. It’s such a simple action for the University to take, but would make such a big difference to students who are not currently catered for. It is very difficult to find suppliers of female condoms and dental dams. I will work to ensure that both are available in the campus pharmacy. I will also look into sourcing sponsorship for female condoms and dental dams so they could be supplied free of charge from the Union, akin to the condoms which are currently available. Gender Equality This year I have worked on numerous gender equality campaigns and this is something I will most certainly continue is elected. In February of this year, we launched the ‘Don’t be that Guy’ campaign. This campaign focuses on the links between sexual assault and alcohol. It asks possible offenders to take control of their
actions and bring an end to rape and sexual assault, through a series of striking posters. I want to expand this campaign on campus and ensure that it is also made applicable to men you have been victims of sexual assault. I also want to continue campaigning to promote positive body image. This is an issue which affects everyone regardless of gender and is so important as it has such a profound effect on mental health and well being. I will continue campaigns I started this year with pre-loved clothing sales, positive body workshops and healthy eating demos. International Students Moving to Ireland from another country can be a very difficult transition. I will always be there to help and support any student that needs it and help make the move as smooth as possible. I will work with Res to ensure that a bus is run at the beginning of each semester to IKEA so that international students can pick up any home supplies they may need at their convenience and have the comfort of transport right back to their door. I will also work with the International Students Coordinator and International Students Society to host a ‘One World Fiesta’ on campus. This would allow students to showcase and celebrate the vibrancy of their home country and culture. This would promote diversity on campus. It would involve food tastings, movie nights, dance and music classes, trips and excursions and use of the arts. Mature Students I pledge to organise a Mature Student’s Dinner at the start of the year in UCD. Students would be encouraged to sit with people that they don’t know, this gives them an opportunity to get to know new people in a relaxed social environment. I will also work with the Mature Student’s Coordinator to run weekly coffee mornings for mature students. This will allow them to meet and establish a peer support network during college hours.
Disabilities All lecturers within the University should be using microphones in all lectures, yet many donâ€™t. This means it is difficult for many students to follow what is being said in their classes and is particularly difficult for students with hearing difficulties. If elected I will ensure that ALL lecturers use the microphones provided. Over the summer I will contact the head of each school and ask them to remind lecturers why they must use microphones and I will monitor their use through the class rep system. If any problems arise, I will approach the lecturer and explain the problem. It is a small thing which could make a big difference to many students. I will also work with the Disabilities Coordinator to ensure that an awareness campaign is run on invisible disabilities, for example diabetes, epilepsy, dyspraxia etc., as these are so often forgotten.
If you would like more information on any of my ideas or would like to get more involved, contact me via email on email@example.com