On-Campus voting takes place on the 4th and 5th of April. 

Sarah McGrath, third-year Radiography student, is running uncontested for Education Officer in this year’s UCDSU elections.

The College Tribune has interviewed McGrath to discuss the main points within her manifesto, which focus on accessibility and inclusion, academic improvement, and sustainability within education.

When asked why she decided to run for the position of Education Officer, Sarah replied,

 “From the work I’ve done as Health Science College Officer, I’ve worked very closely with the current Education Officer, and I’ve seen a lot of ways where we can just do more for students in terms of education supports and also expanding the reach of the SU to students.”

She aims to further spread awareness of existing supports beyond the “inset group of students that will interact with the Student Union”. She hopes this will help all students across campus be fully aware of available supports. 

McGrath’s experience includes acting as a Class Representative for Health Sciences from 2020 to 2022 and her current role of Health Science officer beginning in 2022. Her experience and involvement with the SU makes McGrath feels confident to take on the extra responsibility of Education Officer. She states she has worked on being the familiar face for her peers to go to for advice and solutions.

“I had to go out there and say who I was and that I was Class Rep and then students just came to me which was really good. Then I brought their problems to the boards and committees, and raised them with lecturers and got the feedback.”

When prompted with her manifesto goal of working with the library to “ensure students’ needs are met and continue the good working relationships”, McGrath speaks of how students’ needs have changed since COVID and she intends to continue working with the library to adapt to students’ needs. She notes that “in terms of [library] hours, they need to be increased.” 

Many students rely on campus facilities for their quiet study space. McGrath recognises this  and aims to find a solution by liaising with library staff to improve on opening hours while ensuring “they’re treating the staff well and there are enough appropriate resources for staff to open the library for as long as students need.”

 “I think [as] Education Officer, quality education is [important]. So making sure that we’re giving quality education to students, that programme boards are always thinking in terms of staff but also in terms of ‘how will this affect the students?’.”

McGrath aims to ensure that UCD stays student-focused, with an open line of communication encouraged between UCDSU members and staff to all members of the student body. She also aims to encourage students to speak up at these boards and committees that involve staff within their college. This would result in students feeling confident in raising their pressing issues at these board and committee meetings, as well as their issues being addressed. McGrath deems it paramount that we do get involved with “the programme boards, committees, and meetings,” whether it’s through your Class Rep or College Officer, “and that that feedback does actually trickle back down to the question raiser in the first place.”

Finally, when asked what legacy she would like to leave behind, McGrath responded that she would love to be an inspiration to those who don’t have that Social Science background, showing that although student politics is almost ingrained within the persona of Social Science, it stretches campus-wide.

“I stepped into these positions which as a health science student was different because I haven’t seen anyone from health science be in those positions and do things like that…”

Taking an all-inclusive approach, she pledges to strive to ensure Health Science is not forgotten, and show that student politics affects the entire student body, STEM included.

Rhoen Eate – Deputy Editor