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Kenneth Reynolds #1 For Welfare! Who is Kenneth Reynolds? ● Age 24, born in Cork, living in Tralee for the past five years. ● Current Welfare Officer for the Students Union 2011/2012. ● Communications Officer for the Students Union 2010/2011. ● Class Representative for 2 years. Graduate of a B.A in Interactive Multimedia. ●

My name is Kenneth Reynolds. I’m 24, from Cork and a recent graduate of a B.A in Interactive Multimedia. I have been working with the Students' Union for the past three years, initially as your Communications officer last year, to this year’s Welfare Officer for 2011/2012. For the past three years, I have always worked to the best of my ability to help make a difference for you. I have organised, run, prepared and implemented various campaigns and events throughout the years. I have given every spare minute I have to working for you, and with the experience I have learned from the last few years and as your current Welfare Officer I do believe I am the best candidate to represent you as your Welfare Officer for 2012/2013. The role of the Welfare Officer is not just about giving out free stuff. It covers many different areas including: Accommodation, Alcohol, Anxiety, Bullying, Discrimination, Driver Safety, Drugs, Eating Disorders, Equality, Explanation of Results, Finance, Mental Health, Physical Activity, Rules of the Road and Personal/ Physical Safety. As your current Welfare Officer, I have gone through, and helped students in all these areas and I have gained vast knowledge and experience on what is the best point of action to take on all these issues. I have gone through the ropes, went through all the highs and lows, know what needs to be done, and now I just need you to vote for me to continue the work!

Experience & Organisation: Organised and implemented all of this year’s Welfare campaigns: ● Safety and Awareness Week - 2nd- 7th October ● Suicide and Bullying Awareness Week - 16th-21st October ● Mental Health Week - 6th-11th ● Drink and Drugs Awareness Week - 29th January - 3rd February ● Road Safety Week 5th-10th


● S.H.A.G Week - 27th February- 2nd March ● Rainbow Week(L.G.B.T Society Event) - 18th-23rd March ● Rent Book Launch – Week of Leaving Cert results. 15th Aug ● Deposit Protection Scheme Campaign ● Movember ● Marie Keating Foundation shuttle bus ● Road Safety Awareness Week shuttle bus ● Breast Cancer Awareness Promotion – Pink/Blue Days. ● Shave or Dye

A few points to note are: ● Founder of the S.U.R.F. Magazine. The first ever I.T. Tralee Students Union magazine. ● Spoke on a national level at conferences/congress on topics such as student affairs,

human rights, media diversity and all Welfare related issues. Organised for I.T. Tralee student accommodation listing to be featured on ● propertycheck.ie, so students get full say on student accommodation advertising. ● Represented and spoke on behalf of students for various, Welfare related issues. ● Hosted The U.S.I Grants and Accommodation Road-show ● Organised the Wellness Workshop in conjunction with Suicide or Survive …and much more! Took part and Chaired: ● Welfare Crew ● Class Representative Council. ● Crèche Board Committee Meetings. ● E.S.F/ S.A.F Funding Meeting. ● Students Union Executive Committee Meetings. ● Garda Vetting ● Societies Executive Meetings

Welfare plays a big part in all students’ lives, with the current fight against the decrease in grants, job loss and migration becoming an ever present part in our society. I believe my role is to support you, the students of I.T. Tralee and let you know what services are there for you, and provide assistance in any way possible that I can for you to avail of this. “A Happy Mind is a Healthy Mind!” The experience I have gained in the last year has allowed me to understand your needs, what you want to see more of, what you may need assistance in and where I can help. By voting for me on March 29th not only provides an experienced candidate, but also someone who is there for you, whenever or wherever you may need me. I have proven this in the past to many students, but I would love to be able to continue my work for you next year. With the experience I have


gained the past year as your Welfare Officer, I do not believe that the road should end here. Students Union Events: ● Freshers Fortnight ● R.A.G. Week ● First Year Orientation ● Mystery Tour ● European Mystery Tour ● Christmas Day ● Halloween ● College Ball

The Students' Union provide various events throughout the year and I am proud to say that this year has been one of the strongest years for entertainment across the board. We held not only one, but two weeks for Freshers Fortnight. We have had one of the most successful Raise and Give Weeks in Tralee ever, with more funding raised for charity than any other year before. We have not only hosted the annual mystery tour, but taken it one step further and introduced the first ever European mystery tour that will take place during the Easter mid-term. We raised more money from Christmas Day and Halloween than ever before and hosted various on campus events. I have a lot more to give and there is a lot more that I would like to achieve and expand on, in areas such as Accommodation, Mental Health, Sexual Health etc. The foundations have just been set and I would love to build them up. Future Plans: This year has been one of the biggest years for change, from the office moving to the R-Block in the north campus, brand new hoodies, completely refurbished handbook, more events such as freshers fortnight, more money raised for charity than ever before, more Welfare training and a much stronger presence made from the Students Union than ever before, but in my time as your Welfare Officer for 2011/2012 I have noticed a few further changes that still need to be made or built on: ● Mental

Health:

Afer being your Welfare officer for the past year, I have seen the implications and effects that our mental health plays on our Education. At the moment Ben Slimm, our Equalities officer and I are undertaking a seven week training module that will allow us to implement new, fun and innovative ways to look after your mental health while you are studying in I.T. Tralee. If re-elected as your Welfare Officer, I would introduce more Mental Health related events in association with reachout.com, Jigsaw Kerry and the Samaritans, to try and help prevent the stigma and help promote services that are available on/off campus to you.


● Addiction

Awareness:

Drugs and Alcohol addiction in the college is rarely, if ever discussed. I have had a few cases where students have some to me for assistance, and due to lack of information available were uncertain on what to do or where to go. If elected I will continue my efforts made during the Drink & Drugs Awareness week to promote this again on a more broader scale.

● Suicide

As your Welfare Officer for 2012/2013, I have seen a big increase in the past few months of students self-harming or attempting suicide. In Tralee, overall there has been a big increase in self harm and suicide, and if elected as your Welfare Officer for for 2012/13. I would continue my work to help tackle the stigma behind Mental Health, get more on campus training seminars such as the Wellness Workshop and Safe-talk to try and get enough information out there to you. ● Mandatory

for Welfare Officer to be Garda Vetted:

A quick point to mention, but in my role as your current Welfare Officer for 2011/2012, I believe that someone who is in my position should be Garda vetted as this role plays such an important part in dealing and helping students with various issues throughout the year. Students who may be vulnerable must need to get the best help available and by allowing for the Welfare Officer to be Garda Vetted allows this to be achieved. ● Assistance

for Erasmus Students with Garda Clearance forms:

While Erasmus students play a high percentage in our student population, many who get accepted to take part in courses do not know beforehand that there is a lot of paperwork to fill out. My aim would be to introduce an easy to use, step by step information leaflet to let Erasmus students know what they need to do before attending college in Tralee. ● Physical

& Sexual Health:

Although I would love to be able to give out free condoms on a regular basis and free S.T.I checks on campus, This is not something I haven't tried to do before. At the beginning of my term I quoted and priced how much it would cost to be able to do free condoms but to do it on a weekly term means it would cost on average half of the capitation allocation of funding that goes towards Welfare events. It costs Waterford €5000 to do Free Condom Wednesday every week, and in my own opinion we simply do not have that type of funding here in Tralee. I have also questioned about doing S.T.I checks on campus but the response I received was that the college needs to have a specific designated area that will just be for S.T.I screening and there is not enough funding, room space or staff allocation to be able to suit this. Instead Oakpark Medical Centre have trained staff that do preliminary S.T.I checks and screening for a discounted student rate and if the issue needs to be further checked they will refer you onto Tralee General


Hospital. Over my time as Welfare Officer I have also looked into many different areas regarding Sexual & Physical Health. I have tried to get pregnancy tests in the bathrooms so that students are more comfortable in buying these rather than having to go into a shop. I have created better communication and referral system from the Students Union to the Medical Centre and Student Services, I have worked with the H.S.E and Crisis Pregnancy on a continuous basis to make sure students are kept most up to date on what is going on in Ireland, and I also work with the Irish Family Planning association and Kerry Rape Crisis Prevention Centre on a regular basis too. ● Implement

an Increase in the S.A.F/ E.S.F Fund:

Over the past year I have held a seat on the S.A.F/E.S.F funding committee, in the past few years the increase in students applying for these funds has more than doubled with the funding staying at the same level. If elected I will attempt to negotiate with the college to increase the funding so that more students who are or may be in financial difficulty get the proper funding they may need. ● Implementation

of a Students Union Volunteering Programme:

If elected as your Welfare Officer, I would like to work closely with local and national charity organisations such as Amnesty International, Reachout.com, the Samaritans and Jigsaw Kerry, to allow students take part in volunteering need it be for personal interest of for work placement within the college. Students at the moment often find it hard to get work placement as a lot of companies just aren't hiring. By working with these various charities not only benefits them by getting students who can help out with fresh new ideas, but also gives you the experience to work with big national organisations and and insight to what will be expected in the future after finishing your time here in Tralee. ● Healthy

Eating:

Over the past few months I have noticed the increasing change of eating habits from healthy eating at the start of the year, to unhealthy sugar filled foods around exam time (those €2 goodfella's pizza deals are just too hard to resist). If elected I would like to bring in a chef at the beginning of both semesters to show you how to make healthy nutritious foods at a very low price. I intend to work with M.A.B.s to develop this idea. ● Student

Union Finance System:

If elected as your Welfare Officer for 2012/2013, I would like to put a certain amount of funding raised from events such as R.A.G Week, Christmas Day and Halloween back into the college. There are a lot of students who are struggling financially and with a certain amount of this money going back into the Students' Union. We can help to pay for students who are struggling financially with different areas such as books, college writing and printing material, and grinds,


to assist them in their completion of college in I.T.Tralee. â—? Sports & Societies: Tralee is home to some of the most active students in Clubs and Societies, we have gained numerous achievements and yet many of these are lost in the shadows. If elected I would promote Sports & Societies on a broader scale and try to adapt them into helping out and taking part in more events. This year we have started it by getting various different plans going such as the Art Society doing face painting on campus and painting the Students Union Office, Nurses helping out with S.H.A.G Week 2012, to having Bang fm doing weekly news reports on what we are up too, but if elected I would love to work with these Clubs and Societies to have more on-campus entertainment both north and south. â—? Accommodation: As part of my manifesto last year, I promised to tackle the difficulties that students may have with accommodation in Tralee. As part of this I have set up a great connection with propertycheck.ie that will allow the Students' Union to decide on what accommodation is accessible on their website. Over the summer I would like to get your opinion and feedback on what accommodation you liked and did not like during the year. After this, by allowing accommodation that is 100% suitable chosen by you, allows you to decide where to move into next year. An easy beginning makes a better time for you in college. â—? Communication: Communication is the key and one thing I have noticed myself is how easy it is for events to get lost in translation. The Students' Union this year have put more effort than before into promoting Students' Union events but if elected I would like to continue my work with the S.U.R.F Magazine, turn it into a monthly newsletter and get it sent door to door at the beginning of every month so students know in advance what is going on. Along with that adapt the magazine to facebook and the college email system so you know exactly what it going on and when. . . . Summary: With the experience I have gained not only in the last year, but in my three years working with I.T. Tralee Students' Union, I do believe I am the best candidate for the position. As I have said previously as your current Welfare Officer, I have gone through, and helped students in all these


areas and I have gained vast knowledge and experience on what is the best point of action to take on all these issues. I have gone through the ropes, went through all the highs and lows, know what needs to be done, and now I just need you to vote for me to continue the work! For an experienced, hard working and dedicated Welfare Officer:

Please Vote Kenneth Reynolds #1 This Thursday! - Part time Hustings - (Mon 26th - Tuesday 27th) - Sabbatical Hustings - (Tuesday 27th - Wednesday 28th) - Part time Voting - (Wednesday 28th) - Sabbatical Voting - (Thursday 29th)

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Kenneth Reynolds