Third year engineering student Cian Dowling is running for the position of Welfare and Equality officer of the Students’ Union.

A Dublin native, ed Dowling states that his own use of welfare and his own personal experiences that will help him if he is elected to the position “I think it’s the fact I can empathise with a lot of people, buy cialis with the problems they’re going to come in with, like if you think about financial problems I’ve been on the full maintenance grant my whole way through here, I’ve had to wait the eight weeks, like week eight before you can get a sniff of the grant at all, so that really really puts you under a lot of pressure”

When queried on his experience Dowling singles out his work with both the Students’ Union and his position as Auditor of Eng Soc as proof that he is qualified for the position. “Well I’ve been in the Union since I got here, class rep in first year… on the Union side of things I was program officer…then I’ve done society work in the form of auditor and treasurer… the Union work kind of prepares you for the personal side of things, the compassion and all that stuff that you need, it exposes you to a lot of different campaigns that necessarily you mightn’t run into every other day, like the shag weeks and the rainbow weeks. Then on the societies side of things it’s quite good because it gets you into the corporate mind, you’re looking for sponsorship to get companies interested to get involved. We did quite well in Eng Soc this year, because for a small enough organisation we got a good few thousand euro and even more in products.”

One of Cian’s plans if elected is to work with the AIB to provide a loan scheme for those affected by late grant payments. Speaking about the proposed grant scheme Dowling stated that “ looking back at my own one, you get it in three installments, I got mine in week 8, I got one last week and I’m going to get one in April when maybe I only have my exams left in front of me. The way I look at that is what’s the point in getting them stages. I know for myself and for other people you need it in week one, you need it to get your books, you need it to get your equipment because with your grants once you get accepted for your grant you have a guarantee, which is almost as if having the government acting as a guarantor for your grant so it would be a case of AIB, here are all my grant papers, here’s my acceptance, I’m going to get this money off the government very soon, and I’m going to get it so if you can give me a bulk now, I can give you a bulk of money back when I get it”

When quizzed on the progress of this Dowling stated that “After two meetings with a manager I’ve got some very positive feedback, if you’re looking to say have I signed the dotted line on something, no I haven’t, if you’re looking to say have I got an educated guarantee, yes I have.”

With the new role of conveners in the Students’ Union from September, there is the possibility of payment of the conveners. When asked was he in favour of the elected conveners being paid Dowling stated “I think they should be paid… I’d say yes but it would be conditional. They would have to pick up some of the logistical work… if we were talking about accommodation, they’d be the ones ringing around the landlords, coming in for a three hour shift sit there with a phone and be like would you offer this to students, would you consider opening up your thing [accommodation] to students.”

When asked why students should vote for him, Dowling summarised saying “I’ll be the person to sit there and listen to any problem they have. To say that I’ve a lot of experience personally with a lot of issues that UCD student’s will face, I do. Whether it will come down to accommodation, family, sex, drugs, rock and roll any of that sort of stuff I’ll be there and I’ll be waiting for you.”


By Ronan Coveney


Click here to read about the other Welfare candidate, Ciara Johnson