Mark Stanton Presidential Manifesto
UCC SU Elections 2013/2014
Presidential Manifesto 2013/2014 Contents About Me
About Me Name: Mark Stanton
Parents: Dave and Mary
Course: Single Honours Economics (Arts)
Siblings: 3 Brothers
Running for: President
Current Position: UCC RC Fundraising Officer
Experience At 20 years of age many people have asked me what experience I have for taking on such a demanding role. I believe all the potential candidates would play a different role, if elected. I think the main role of the President is as a team leader and in this regard I have a lot of experience. I have been captain of various sporting teams over the years and have learned the importance of leadership as well as delegation. In organisation I have organised a number of large Balls including my owns schools Graduation Ball (which I was subsequently banned from attending, Youtube: Midleton CBS Muck Up Day, but I was told everyone highly enjoyed) 1|Page
Presidential Manifesto 2013/2014 and this year’s Rowing Dinner Dance in the Imperial Hotel which was a massive success. As Fundraising officer in the Rowing Club I have organised and overseen many events both on a large and small scale. Many of you might recognise the symbol below:
This is the logo for the Rowing Club R&G week event which I organised along with Eoghan Healy. It was massively successful event, both in terms of raising money and entertainment. As an Ents rep in first year I learned the ins and outs of the entertainment in UCC from the master who is Cian Barret, then added to this by working closely with Eoghan on this year’s R&G week. I also work promotions for a nightclub in the city and have many contacts in the clubs around Cork. I firmly believe the quality of the Official Student nightclub greatly impacts on the entire year and will work to gain partnership with the clubs students want.
Careers We have an excellent careers service at our disposal which many students do not utilise. It is vital in today’s economy we take every chance the service can provides. They have so many great events daily and the careers advisors are world class. Careers Service I would propose a careers services tab be placed on blackboard for all students and on Collegeroad.ie. Talking to head of the careers service Seamus McEvoy, I learned that students cannot be automatically signed up for the careers services, as in other colleges, due to legal reasons, which are in the process of being resolved.
Presidential Manifesto 2013/2014 Once this is resolved I would hope to enlist all first years automatically as a test and encourage all of them to book a one on one meeting with a careers councillor to learn what services they provide and what opportunities are available to the student throughout college. If this is successful I would aim to enlist all students the following year. We as a student body are missing internship and job opportunities the careers service are dying to give out! They already have their jobs, the onus is on us to make sure we find ours. Time in college flies by and it is up to us to make sure we make ourselves employable. The careers service provides everything we need from CV workshops and skills training to bringing in companies for talks about job opportunities. Too often these events are poorly attended. Whether it is lack of promotion or lack of knowledge as to how important these talks can be I will work with the careers service to make it a more efficient service for all. We can no longer wait until final year and then take interest, for UCC students to get the best jobs we need to go looking for them, not everyone who goes to college is headhunted. International Study UCC offers a wide range of international study which many students are still unaware of. We have access to fees waivers in many universities around the world. To study abroad is a massive boost to your CV and to yourself. If elected I would promote these opportunities in good time so every student has the option of taking a year abroad. Job Offers With Registration fees set to rise again students are seeking part time work more than ever. So, just like the highly successful ‘Deal of the Week’ initiative this year, which was run over student emails, I would like to run all part-time job offers over the weekly email to inform students of work that is available out there. Work is popping up more often in Cork, and I believe the Union should be working to ensure its students getting these jobs.
Presidential Manifesto 2013/2014
Clinics It’s impossible for the union to know every problem of every student in UCC without feedback. I think all students have an idea for small changes they would like to see made in the University in their own courses and through their own experiences. Talking to students during the elections many of them had small brilliant ideas for changes that are not difficult to implement. I would aim to meet as many people as possible on a weekly basis and also to have a clinic where people could book a time to come and see me with these ideas. Here’s an example of some small ideas: More sockets in the old part of the library Fixing the water fountains in the gym More bins on campus There are hundreds of more ideas out there and if I elected I want to fight for all of them!
Clubs/Socs Accreditation There are many people in managerial roles in clubs and societies who put far more hours into that than into their course work. I do not believe this behaviour should be discouraged as many might go on to that type of work in the future and UCC Clubs and Socs provide an excellent starting point. UCD already has a ‘Credits for Life’ plan and I believe this is something we could implement here. There can be no argument that students learn vital workplace skills from being part of Clubs and Socs and this need to be recognised in our transcripts. Clubs Clubs at UCC are getting more and more successful. This year saw UCC retain the FitzGibbon Cup in GAA, return to form in rugby and have so many 4|Page
Presidential Manifesto 2013/2014 smaller clubs succeeding nationally and internationally while all the time growing their numbers. From my own work in the rowing club I see many things we are doing well and things that can be improved. I believe a good working relationship between the Clubs Exec, the Mardyke Arena and the Students Union is vital in making UCC teams competitive around Ireland and the World. Our focus must be on winning more national awards and also looking to develop athletes to represent their country at the highest level, with Rio 2016 as an achievable target, given the talent and facilities at our disposal. On a lighter note the water fountains in the multi-million euro gym continue to frustrate and bewilder all those using the gym and I will make it a personal mission of mine to get them running better by 2014!
ďƒ˜ Societies Due to my heavy hours with the rowing club I was not able to try out as many societies as I would like, but it is hard to walk around UCC and not see and hear about the excellent work the Guild and individual societies to on a day to day basis. From music to political groups, LGBT to drama and debating to chatting, UCC has a society that caters for everyone. I think the best part however, is that if you are still not happy with the selection, you can make up your own society! I want to pledge my support in starting up new societies and providing assistance long standing ones.
Education With the change to semesterisation in the coming years I will ensure all students clearly understand the changes that are happening in Education. This would involve holding information events and being involved with the college on promoting the changes. I have also begun reading the Hunt Report which is the National Strategy for Higher Education to be implemented in the years leading up to 2030.
Presidential Manifesto 2013/2014 This report is an excellent starting point for changes we want to see in the education we are receiving. Now we can go to the people who make out our courses and say we want more fundamental skills being examined, and use the Report to back us up! If elected I will work closely with the new Education Officer and College Officials to see changes made, so that when I return to finish my course it will have a direct impact on what I am learning. I won’t disappear after a year in charge, I will be back in lectures with the rest of the student body.
Entertainment Entertainment is one of the most important services the union provides! This year has seen some of the excellent work in entertainment on and off campus. There were some massive events that some will never forget while others struggle to remember. I would propose to build on the progress made and use this year as a template for the year coming. I will work tirelessly during the summer to secure venues and events so that come September all that’s left is for people to attend them. Here are some areas I have targeted for improvements Balls/ Dinner Dances At this stage every club, society and course has its own ball. With the Gentlemen of UCC suiting up more than Barney Stinson and the women wearing every colour dress under the sun, I would aim to get student discounts with leading clothes shops in Cork, so that while we look like $1m, we don’t have to spend it. I would also propose having a training course for those organising these events. This would be a day with Event Managers from different venues around Cork to make sure you are getting value for money and don’t regret splashing out. The Fresher’s Ball on campus has also proved to be hugely popular and this is something I wish to continue and grow.
Presidential Manifesto 2013/2014 Daytime Entertainment Everyone loves random entertainment on Campus and in Satellite campuses so if elected I promise to organise more of these for students. These can be anything from small random things to a large scale gig, which has been proposed for many years but never come to fruition. I believe an on campus gig is something there is demand for and if elected I will work hard to make it happen. Expanding R&G Week There is no arguing this year’s R&G week was one of the best we’ve seen. This was vital as the week was under review from the college with the aim of scrapping it. The aim this year was high impact non-alcoholic events and it really worked well. Students were even praised for their behaviour (which makes a welcome change), the sum raised for the charities was far higher than ever before and critically the craic was better than ever! This does not mean that we can take a step back next year, progress on R&G week needs to continue if we are to keep it and it’s not a difficult thing to do. I took part in the ‘Rat Race’ event this year, which gave a team of four 26 hours to complete a scavenger hunt of photographs to win Man Utd Tickets. All the teams really went at it and it was touted by a member of an opposing tea, as ‘the best fun I’ve ever had sober’. I find it hard to argue with this point and will promote events like this one if elected!
Presidential Manifesto 2013/2014 Left to right: Gavin Sheehan, myself, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Ian Kerins and Podge O’ Connell taking part in the Rat Race Challenge.
This event, like ‘Hands off my Car,’ received positive media attention and proved very popular among students. One problem I have with R&G week however is that it is confined to main campus. In places like Brookfield and Sunday’s well it could have been just any other week. Huge changes are not needed to make a big effect in these places, and if spirits are high then it will impact the sum raised for charity. While the green and steps outside Brookfield are suitable for events and this is something I will push for, in the Architecture building in town a box of free condoms and some posters would go a long way to expanding R&G week and making more money for the charities. After all Architects are people too! Gigs Everyone loves a good gig and this has been seen time and time again from sold out on campus comedy gigs to music events. Getting more comedians to perform at UCC is a target of mine. I would also seek bigger and better acts for events like the Fresher’s Balls and R&G week Tramps Ball. Roy Seven played at this year’s law ball and it proved a great success. Students are the target audience for these acts and I want to bring them to you!
This is an excellent website but I believe it could do more. The Facebook has upwards of 14,000 followers and this can be utilised all year round, not just during RG week. I have already outlined where I believe changes could be made, apart from improving the event calendar, I would separate and
Presidential Manifesto 2013/2014 highlight “Employer Events” by giving a prominent link to that part of the career service website.
More accessible union I think the Union up to this point has done great work on being accessible but still at times there is a disconnect with students. Just looking at the numbers voting in previous elections will tell you this. At the end of the day every student pays the wages of those in the union, so every student should feel comfortable enough to approach Union. If elected I would promote the members of the Union and the services they each provide from the first day back. I would continue the format Eoghan set out with his weekly email, containing information and initiatives like ‘Deal of the Week.’ I also propose an SU text line. Many students can find emailing daunting, especially in first year, and I didn’t go into the Student Union building until well into first year. This text line would be manned by members of the union and would guarantee a response within 24 hours. It would act solely as an informal way for students to gain information. SU Crew This year saw the expansion of the SU Crew and I think we can all agree they are doing excellent work. I want to continue working on this programme from the word go. I think R&G week is an excellent opportunity for them to shine, however the crew does some terrific work all year.
Closing Statement Thank you for taking the time to read my manifesto. If anyone wishes to contact me at any time please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mark Stanton for SU President on Facebook. Now all that remains is to wish my fellow candidates the best of luck in the weeks to come. And Remember Vote Mark Stanton #1 for President on the 11 th and 12 th of March! 9|Page
Presidential Manifesto 2013/2014 Thank you.
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