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VOTE DAVE CAREY #1 FOR UCC SU EQUALITY OFFICER


Introduction: Hey, my name is Dave Carey and I am running to be your new SU Equality Officer on the 13th and 14th of October. For those of you who don’t know who I am, I’m an English Masters student; I’ve been pretty heavily involved in the Students Union and generally in student life during my time in college. But why go for the position of Equality Officer? Simply put, I felt it was time that I take a chance and see if I could make the changes that I have long claimed are necessary and help all students of UCC to enjoy the same level of student activity and fun that I have in my time here, the level that everyone deserves, but is not offered to all. Equality is an area that I have become very passionate about ever since becoming involved in the SU. The chance to deal with such a wide range of issues and hopefully successfully make a lasting change to future student life is something that I aspire to achieve, and can guarantee I would be fully committed to.

Experience: I have been heavily involved in the Union, Clubs and Societies in my time in college and have held many positions and participated in many relevant student protests and events including:           

Peer Support Leader 09/10, 10/11. SafeTalk Certificate recipient (suicide awareness) Member of the 2010 UCC delegation for USI Congress that secured the retention of the LGBT Rights Officer as a part-time paid position Member of the Welfare Working Group Organisational fundraising committee for Haiti Haven English Academic Class Rep English Entertainments Class Rep History Entertainments Class Rep PRO of the Darts Club Two years on the NetSoc committee as Recording Secretary/OCM Writer for The Express.

The main things I hope to achieve if elected are listed below with a more detailed and informative explanation of how this would be achieved found further down.

LGBT:


-Promoting Safe Sex campaigns geared specifically towards the LGBT students. -Securing and distributing free condoms at LGBT events. -Increasing involvement of heterosexual students in both LGBT society but also in LGBT campaigns. - Liaise with the USI LGBTRO and other SU Equality officers to contribute to and promote any national campaigns. Mature: -Encouraging the class reps at their training to appeal directly towards the mature students. - Develop mature student friendly social events in conjunction with the Mature Students Officer and Entertainments Officer that would be organised through the SU and allow mature students to meet people facing the same collegial difficulties.

Disability: -Run disability awareness campaigns that target students with hidden disabilities that do not realise they are entitled to Disability Support Services. -Fight against any further cuts to the DSS (Disability Support Services). -Organise events that encourage interactivity amongst disabled students and explore the idea of a society aimed at these needs, similar to the UCD IPA (Inclusion Participation Awareness) society. Gender: -Develop a ‘Touch Yourself’ campaign in conjunction with the Welfare officer to promote testicular and breast cancer awareness. -Secure and distribute rape whistles on campus. -Work with the Clubs and Societies Executives to encourage the increase of female committee members.


International: -Develop a Clubs and Socs day aimed directly towards International students. -Work with the Clubs and Societies to create a position of International Rep on as many committees as possible. -Work in conjunction with the International Office to hold more social events geared towards International students such as coffee mornings, speed friendship, etc. That is a basic outline of my plans, for further details continue below.

LGBT: The issue of LGBT rights has been one that affects a large number of UCC students and is something that will only be hugely enhanced by the presence of a specific officer for this group. What I intend to do with the campaigns for this group would be to work jointly with both the LGBTRO and LGBT committee in improving campaigns throughout campus. This would be done with two main goals in mind, firstly to promote a safe and homophobic free environment and secondly to promote sexual health. In conjunction with the Welfare Officer I would run campaigns promoting safe sex. And attempt to secure even more free condoms independent of the Welfare Officer, to be distributed specifically to the LGBT community. Another aspect of the LGBT that I feel needs to be enhanced is the interactivity with the heterosexual community. I have several friends involved in LGBT and therefore have attended LGBT events and campaigned for LGBT rights at a national level. Through these activities I have come to realise that not only is LGBT one of the most active and fun Societies on campus but that LGBT rights in general is a highly contentious and important issue and something that I want to do everything possible to improve. Therefore I believe that it is in the overall interest in LGBT campaigns in UCC to get as many heterosexual people involved and interested in LGBT rights and events. I would also meet with the LGBT committee on a regular basis to discuss any issues that have come to light for their members and help to develop any ideas that they or the LGBTRO had developed.

Mature:


The rights of a Mature Student are the exact same as any other undergraduate. Despite the smaller number of Mature Students than other undergraduates, Mature Students have a profound impact on the classes they attend. However, some Mature Students find it very difficult to integrate into his/her class. It is my intention to work with the Mature Student Officer in order to help with seamless integration of Mature Students in both the academic and social aspect to college. And this can be easily done by working with the class rep and making sure that any Mature Students in his/her class are not left behind. One of the biggest issues for mature students seems to be the issue of loneliness, it is far more difficult for mature students to interact with other students on a social level due to the age gap and once this becomes an issue early in their college life it is an extremely difficult cycle to break. Along with the encouragement of class reps to include mature students more in activities I also want to have the union host events geared directly towards mature students. This is not to further separate them in any way as I still want to promote interaction with under 23 students but I feel their college experience could only be further enhanced if they have the opportunity to participate in events with those experiencing a similar collegial lifestyle. As for the events that would be held, this is something I intend to discuss and develop with the mature student officer.

Disability: Disability Rights on campus are a key issue and one that regularly is forgotten about or just not considered by most. When you talk to the average student about the Disability Support services on campus they immediately assume it is in relation to physically disabled students and do not consider the large number of hidden disabilities present among the student body. How do you know that one of your classmates is not dyslexic or has a vision impairment? I intend to work with the Disability Support Officer and DSS to promote the services offered to those students who may not even realise they are entitled to help and support. While simultaneously attempting to make other students more aware of what affect a disability on campus can be. I would work in conjunction with the Disability Officer to increase events geared specifically towards disabled students. And dependent upon the success of such events I would work towards the setting up of a society similar to the successful Inclusion Participation Awareness society in UCD which is not restricted to disabled members but can be joined by anyone interested in disability rights.

Gender:


Gender Equality is something that seems to be losing attention in recent years and while gender equality is a constantly improving area it still has yet to reach the level that it should be. It is still highly prevalent in Irish society with the average income gap from male to female being 11%. So whether it is realised or not it is something that does or will affect every student in UCC. Because of this I believe it is necessary to promote equal opportunity within our University. One key area I feel this seem prevalent is within the committees of Clubs and Societies. This is in no way the cause of and Club or Society but it there seems to be a trend to have committees largely consisting of male members. Therefore I intend to work in conjunction with the clubs and society executives to develop a scheme that would encourage more female participation upon committees. There are several other campaigns that I wish to develop that would fall under the brief of Gender such as a ‘Touch Yourself’ campaign. This would be run in conjunction with the Welfare officer and Gender Rights Officer to promote awareness of the risks of both testicular and breast cancer. Another aspect of student life that has become a concern to me in its increase is that of attacks, robberies and in some extreme cases rape. Due to this I hope to secure the sale of rape whistles on campus for R&G Week providing further contributions to R&G charities and hopefully preventing dangerous situations.

International: I shall work in close co-ordination with the International sub-officer to try and create an environment in which all International students feel comfortable and able to associate with other students within the University. There is a great level of support around for International students and attempts to have them mingle with other International students and while this is obviously necessary and something that I would fully encourage and intend to develop through events such as regular coffee mornings, etc. But I also feel that one of the major issues of integration for international students is that while encouraged to mingle it is generally only amongst themselves, especially the students who do not have English as a primary language. How can this be remedied? I believe the answer lies in the Clubs and Societies. The vast number of clubs and societies in UCC means that there are opportunities there for everyone to do something they love. So I plan to work in conjunction with the Clubs and Societies Executives to organize a Clubs and Socs International day in which tables would be set up on campus for the day and events would occur appealing directly to recruiting International students.


I also want to work towards securing a International officer position on as many committees as possible allowing not only for international students to become more involved in running the club or society but also to have someone on that committee that can cater to their needs and understands how to appeal to them in recruitment.

Thanks for taking the time to read my manifesto, if you have any questions about any of my ideas please don’t hesitate to contact me at daveforequality@gmail.com or comment on the Facebook page. And if you’re interested in getting involved with any aspect of this campaign I would love your help and advice. Looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible on the campaign trail as possible. Yours sincerely, Dave Carey

Vote Dave Carey #1 for Equality.


Manifesto