Hazel Beattie is running for the Graduate Officer position in the ensuing SU elections, thumb while pursing a postgraduate degree in Social Policy. She is running a platform on her experience in dealing with the UCD Student Council as a class rep, medicine and her hopes to jettison some key Postgrad reform if elected. “I have a lot of experiences in UCD; being in UCD, knowing how Council meetings work, knowing what the role of a rep is here for UCD. I do hope to make a difference, however big or small”.
The broad range of services Hazel’s manifesto outlines to provide include postgraduate training in terms of budgeting, loans, presentation, as well as a guarantee to improve social and clinical outreach facilities. These graduate tailored reforms are combined with a list of more ambitious general reforms including extended library hours, a reduction in re-sit fees, and more comprehensive travel grants. In the context of UCD’s declining funding and increasing budgetary constraints, Hazel defined how she would fight for the money to improve and extent these facilities:
“For the travel grants that would dependent on each college, so it would be up to each school to come up with the money for that. Library hours it would have to be something I would take to the other sabbaticals. Its not something that I am aware of where the money will come from, so I would have to sit down with the library. I would have to possibly sit down with Andrew Deeks – and try to find out where we could get this money. Regardless of whether I get this role, this is something I am going to continue to do.”
Two of Hazel’s welfare policy cornerstones involved her Proud to be a Postgrad week, and improving the SU website to be more accessible and useful for students. In relation to the proposed Postgrad Week Hazel has being buoyed by the initial positive support from graduate students; who are traditionally a disconnected group from the SU. “I’ve had so many Facebook messages saying – ‘yeah this is a really good idea’, people really liked it. I’ve had so much feedback from post grads saying its something they would be really excited about”. In terms of practical reform, the SU-friendly candidate has stated she wants to tackle the poorly organised SU website, and build it up to help students with real and practical problems – like accommodation, buses and various issues.
The Wicklow candidate’s stance on the recent ‘Save our PRC’ campaign is one that threads a middle line in representing all postgraduates in UCD. “I think they should keep the PRC open for all post grads. This is not a long term solution – they need to open up more spaces for post grads, and when that is completed by all means give [the PRC] back to the Human Sciences”.
Hazel will run in a two-way race against Sharath Jagarlapudi in a contested campaign culminating on the 3rd and 4th of March.