16 September, 2014
Welcome back to CIT after the summer break. As those of you who are returning to CIT will know, that as the three new Sabbatical Students’ Union Officers, we have taken up our posts from the 1st of June. Whilst no doubt the middle of the academic term is our busiest time of the year, some of you may be wondering exactly what it is that we have been getting up to during the summer? Last March, we got elected on the basis of our manifestos outlining the areas we intend to work on throughout the year. As elected officers, we answer to you the students, so I think it is only right that we give you an idea of the progress we have made over the summer.
Last year’s President Danny O’ Donovan got the ball rolling on a feasibility study, which will look into areas such as: student desire for a bar, financial viability, licencing routes, legal requirements, etc. This study is currently in the final stages of being tidied up which will dictate our plan of action for the coming year. We have also been consulting with other colleges and members of senior management within the college to look at alternative routes that can be looked into, if it turns out that a Campus Bar is not feasible. One thing you can bank on is that there will be a strong push this year for the responsible consumption of alcohol to be allowed for a number of events throughout the coming year.
Module Feedback Systems
We strongly believe that each student should be able to assess how effectively each of their modules is delivered in order to improve communication between staff and students, and also to ensure the highest possible standard of education possible. At the end of the day, you the student are the end customer and should be able to give your input on the service that you are paying for. Through research and consultation with USI, staff at CIT, fellow SUs and representatives of the TUI, we have made significant progress in finding existing systems which can hopefully be introduced to CIT sometime within the current academic year without re-inventing the wheel.
Student Services Company
The Students’ Union has set up a working group with members of the management of the Student Services Company. Thus far we have discussed a number of improvements to the main canteen service such as:
- A revised counter layout and clearer signage to bring greater clarification around pricing.
- Nutritional Information for every main dish being displayed.
- A student survey which will give feedback directly back to the Student Services Company surrounding pricing in the canteen.
An Improved Bus Service
Through consultation with Bus Éireann, we have managed to get agreement on a number of improvements to the routes that serve CIT for the coming academic year:
- The existing additional 201 Bus service at 08.00am is now to leave Mayfield at 07.45 to beat rush hour traffic that builds up from Shanakiel onwards.
- The existing additional coaches that accompany the 205 morning service from town are to be scheduled in between normal 205 buses at peak times of 08.10 and 08.20.
- Additional double-decker buses to leave CIT around the peak times of 16.05 and 17.05. These buses will be scheduled slightly after the 16.00 and 17.00 to facilitate students attending their lectures in full.
- 2/3 Southside Orbital (219) and North-side Orbital (201) services to run on Saturdays during exam weeks.
Bus Éireann have also informed us that there is now a new service, the 220/220A service which will replace the 222 and 232 services. This new service will offer direct connections from Carrigaline and Douglas to UCC & CIT, meaning that students from these areas no longer need to get 2 buses to get to college. Full details of this new service’s timetable can be found on the Bus Éireann website.
It is vital that each class elects a Class Representative at the beginning of the academic year. This person acts as a representative for their class and is their class’s chief spokesperson, very much the voice of the class. One of their main duties is reporting back to the executive at Union Council Meetings in relation to particular issues which are of concern to the group.
It is important that the person who is elected is committed to the position, not only will they speak for the class but they may also organise class parties and social events. College is not just about studying, it is important that you have an active social life and the Class Rep is there to organise such events so that classmates can form close friendships. Michael, Shane & Ciara will visit classes at the beginning of the first semester, in order to facilitate the elections of class representatives.
Class Rep training will take place on Thursday 9th October this year, this will be an over-night stay in a secret location, here elected Class Reps will be shown the ropes and will acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to actively represent their class from the get-go.
At the end of the year each students will have the opportunity to nominate their Class Rep for a Union Council Award. The Union Council Awards recognise outstanding Class Reps for their contribution to their class and the Union as a whole. Each Class Rep will also receive a Certificate of Merit.
Class Reps play a huge role in the work of the Students’ Union and aid our progression and success in actively representing all the students of CIT. It is a big responsibility, but brings with it an education in itself Can you be the voice of your class? Go for it, it’s a decision you’ll never look back on.
During the summer, extensive renovations have been carried out in the library, the creation of an extra 72 study spaces & improved lighting throughout the building for our students was hard fought for, and a lot of students’ money has being invested in it, YOUR money. On this note, we would urge all students to treat the new study spaces with the respect they deserve and to refrain from spoiling their appearance with graffiti of any kind.
We as a Students’ Union do not condone the graffiti of CIT property in any way. It is our job, to ensure that our members receive the best possible education during their time here in CIT and hence that the Institute has and maintains the best possible facilities conducive with study, We would encourage all students to be vigilant of not defacing any area of our college.
Our Vice President Welfare Ciara, will be running various campaigns throughout the year which will help students to manage personal issues that they may be faced with such as sexual health, mental health, physical health, accommodation, finance, safety, bullying addictions, substance abuse and so on.
Throughout the year we will be running various campaigns such as S.H.A.G. (Sexual Health, Awareness and Guidance) Week in October, Positive Mind & Body Week in November, Safety Week in February, Exam De-Stress week in the lead up to exams in December and May, and for the first year in a while we will be running a Rainbow Campaign in October also.
Equality is something that the Students’ Union are looking to focus on a lot this year and especially in the lead up to the Marriage Equality Referendum next spring, we want to make sure that or students who identify as LGBT (lesbian, Gay, Bisexual of Trans*) or even those who are questioning, coming out or identify as Allies, feel comfortable and supported. This year we are also very excited to announce that CIT will be co-hosting Pink Training with UCC in November of this year. This is the largest LGBT training event in Europe for third level students, with delegations of
students attending from USI-affiliated colleges across the country. Over 350 delegates will be attending this year’s Pink Training in Cork.
It has been a very busy summer preparing Welfare Campaigns. In the next few weeks we will be looking for students to be part of the Welfare Crew. The Welfare Crew helps out in all Welfare campaigns and have lots of fun doing so. If any of you are interested in being part of the Welfare Crew, please email Ciara on firstname.lastname@example.org or text 083842977. It is going to be an exciting year.
USI ‘Rally for Education’
The Rally for Education takes place on Wednesday, October the 8th in Dublin. This year instead of a protest we will be focusing on a much more positive event and the main message of the campaign will be to highlight the value of education, but in turn will be highlighting the need for student supports to be protected in Budget 2015.
The Rally will highlight the value of education to society and it will showcase the valuable work that students on campuses across the country are doing to benefit their communities and society. There will be a series of music artists on the day and we want YOU there on the day. We want YOU the students to come join us on the day. We will be providing buses on the day to Dublin and we would love to get as much involvement from as many students as possible. We need your stories, where would you be without access to third level education and the supports that helped you get here.