So who is Mike Kerrigan? Hey! My name is Mike Kerrigan and I am proudly running in the election to become your Studentâ€™s Union Vice-President and Welfare officer. I am from a small parish called Kilconly which is situated outside the town of Tuam in North Galway. I am currently in my 4th year of an honours business degree in GMIT specialising in marketing. I encourage you to read through my aims, objectives and main priorities below so that you will be able to make an informed vote on April 17th. I am here to represent you, to work on your behalf and I am determined to do so. Welfare because I care! What is the Students Union? The Students Union is a democratic organisation run by students for students. The Union assists students in areas including grants, accommodation, timetables, exams, lecturers and personal issues. The S.U is also responsible for managing extra-curricular activities and facilities that enhance the student experience such as Clubs and Societies, Welfare campaigns, entertainment, the SU shop and the gym.
My Aims and Objectives; Students Union I personally believe that the Student Union is a successful union epitomised by our current president Joe O’ Connor being elected USI president. The union currently has a good working relationship with both the board of management and the wider community, but I believe that the relationship between the S.U and the student body can be improved. I would like to emphasise that I intend to continue and try to improve on their work. One of my main priorities will be to involve more people in the S.U. I feel that the union can be very intimidating I intend to introduce a S.U Engage Campaign in the first semester of 2013 ensuring that both new and current students are aware of the Students Union and what it does.
Susi/Maintenance grant I believe everyone has the right to an education, and that education should be based on merit, not wealth. The single biggest students faced this year were financial issues associated with SUSI grants. If elected I plan to continue the hard work the Students Union has put in with regards SUSI and issues concerning grants and fees.
Library Alter opening and closing times of the GMIT Library throughout the year so that during exam periods, it opened later in the evening and during the weekend. Alternatively I will lobby for GMIT to have a reading room that will be open later hours than the library Toilets I feel the cleanliness of the college has to be improved, a case in point being both male and female toilets. Although cuts have been made to this sector, the standards should never have been allowed to drop to this level. I I intend to lobby the college authorities and cleaning staff for this to be improved. Bar and Nightclub The Students Union has invested a lot of time in money in redesigning and promoting the Union Student bar this year and although there have been some great nights in the bar realistically it has not been a success. Our official nightclub Coyotes has been a relative success in regards bringing in crowds and offering cheap entry and drink, but people are not happy as most of this crowd are not GMIT students Although it is difficult to keep everyone happy, I promise to fight for an official bar and nightclub that GMIT can be proud of and that the decision will based on what students want and not what money is being offered.
Pedestrian Crossing I want to lobby the local government and council in order to have a pedestrian crossing at the main Parkmore/Merlin bus stop. I feel that it is extremely dangerous as it is, as there is no sufficient crossing point at this point in time. Part-Time Employment Given the current economic climate, students are having difficulty in finding part-time employment. If elected I promise to work alongside USI in sourcing suitable part-time employment and posting this information on the Student Union website, Facebook and Twitter page. Others…. The cost of replacing a GMIT student card has increased to €20, if elected I will fight to bring down this cost. I plan to introduce internet voting for student elections next year; this has been successful in NUIG this year and has encouraged more people to vote. I plan to introduce a 2nd hand bookshop in GMIT’s student union, this could save students money by not having to buy books new and would also save students advertising books for sale around the college. I would like to continue and improve the promotion of the Irish language around the college. If elected I will ensure that earphones be sold at a cheap price in the library and I.T centre.
Welfare New Campaigns I will fully support the new USI Alcohol Campaign, which is going to be geared specifically towards 3rd level students. I will also fully support the new USI ‘Think before you type’ Campaign, which is an initiative to stop Cyber Bullying. Current Campaigns Some campaigns which I feel have worked very well this year and would like to continue are: Silent Student Happy Homes (Sshh) campaign Pysical Health campaign Don’t walk home alone campaign Road Safety campaign Multi-Cultural campaign Mental Health Mental Health is proving a huge issue in Irish Society at the minute. More and more students are suffering in silence. I would like to reduce the stigma attached to mental health by hosting Mental Health debates in the college and Mental Health Awareness Campaigns. While keeping the current Mental Health campaigns I promise to promote mental health awareness throughout the academic year without reducing it to just 2 weeks.
Sexual Health I promise to have at least 3 Sexual Health Awareness campaigns during 2013/14. This is due to the increase in unplanned pregnancies, unsafe sex and lack of sex education. I would like to introduce condom Wednesdays which would mean having condoms available in Union Square every Wednesday. Equality I intend to work in unison with the LGBT society, in order to help eliminate the issue’s LGBT Student’s face on a day in and day out basis. I intend to fully support the new USI LGBT Equality Campaign. Disability I want to have a student disability forum on Facebook, and a disability awareness campaign which will coincide with International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Healthy Eating Up to 200,000 people in Ireland are suffer from eating disorders and this number is growing, a large majority of these people are young adults and teens Many people with eating disorders do not see what others see so by raising awareness of this issue you are not only getting people to look at themselves but it can remove some of the fear associated with addressing the issue. As well as raising awareness about health eating I would lobby the canteen management to provide healthier food for students along with nutritional information.
Events! I believe the Students Union have organised successful events this year such as Fresher’s Fest, Christmas Day and Especially Moxegen, but I believe that with hard work and innovation these types of events can happen on a more regular basis. For these events I would ensure a good mixture of local, home-grown talent along with more headline acts than we have seen in previous years. I believe our current common room is being underutilised and that hosting more event here would improve its popularity. Some suggestions I would make to promote Red Square would be events such as a Girls day with beauticians coming in to do girls hair and nails, and a Lad’s Day with a PlayStation available and frequent FIFA, Call of Duty and Pool competitions. I also believe showing Home and Away here during lunch time would attract a crowd. Gaeilge Day! I wish to have a weekly Irish Day in GMIT in order to raise awareness of the Irish Language. This includes having Irish story telling in Red Square, Irish Folklore, and Themed nights in the student night club with Irish props, Irish flags, and Ceili’s. Having Irish tshirts sold on campus, Irish Rose of GMIT and Paddy Irish Man of GMIT. Entertainment days in Red Square once a month where local performers and college students who can sing, dance, or have a special talent can show it off
FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD! A toaster in Red Square for your toast and toasties! Two more microwaves in Red Square and two in the Coffee Dock outside the main library. A student’s food drive for students who may not be able to afford food. Thank You For a Student Union Vice-President and Welfare Officer who can offer you Confidentiality, Trust and a Safe Pair of Hands I encourage you to vote MIKE KERRIGAN #1 on April 17th. Thank You.