After no nominees contesting the role of graduate officer in the UCD Students’ Union executive elections, the upcoming By-Elections see 3 candidates on the ballot.

One candidate is a masters in Information Systems student, Amit Wasnik. He faces Marc Matouc and Matt Amenda in the race for the place on the 2022/23 UCDSU executive.

Below is the College Tribune interview with Wasnik

1. Why are you running for the role of Graduate Officer in the By-Elections?

Running for the position of Graduate Officer has given me a unique opportunity to represent my peers and bring about the changes I would like to see in UCD, and standing in student elections and being a student union official can greatly improve my career. By leading campaigns or organizing events, I can guide the community, and further the reasons my peers and I believe. Representing the educational interests of students is at the heart of all student unions. As an officer, I will gain access to top-notch employees in their careers, which allows me to build networks and relationships, which can benefit me in the future.

2. What made you want to run in the By-Elections?

I decided to run for office because I was interested in the impact student activities could have on the student experience and wanted to promote this as much as possible. This will give me valuable information about the higher education sector. I will really understand what the university is doing and see how it works internally.

3. Do you think UCD provides enough support to graduate students?

I think that the current support provided by UCD is enough, including a dedicated Student Adviser and Career & Skills consultant. UCD also offers resources to maintain  Health & well-being and a series of further services, available to all registered students. For Eg. Careers Network, Library, Student Advisory Service, Students’ Union, Writing Centre. But I also believe that many of the students are not aware that such support exists and that’s where the problem is ‘awareness’.

4. What is the strongest part about your manifesto, in your own opinion?

In my opinion, the strongest part of my manifesto is the main goals that I have pointed out which is providing equal opportunities.

5. What skills do you think you have that will transpose well into the role of Graduate Officer?

I can take a more active role with my skills of interacting with students from a variety of different backgrounds and this can result in strong, long-lasting friendships. Perhaps the biggest advantage of me becoming involved in your students’ union is my work experience of 5 years in IT with which I can help other students to boost their employability. I’ll use my experience and relevant examples from my time in the office to back up skills in my cover letter and in interviews.

6. What do you think sets you apart from your opponents in the race?

I am the best person for the job. I have confidence in myself and truly believe in what I stand for if I want people to vote for me. If I don’t believe I can win, nobody else will. I have organised my manifesto and I know in advance what my focus is. This involves combining my personal beliefs with those of my peers. My work presentations and hobbies have helped me develop good communication skills. I am recognisable to student voters and I have chatted to students face-to-face. I am realistic and honest throughout.

7. Could you please provide a short, roughly 75-word bio and summary of the main parts of your manifesto.

My name is Amit who is pursuing an MSc in Information Systems. I am running for the position of graduate Student Officer. As an international student, I feel that a lot has happened to international students, so I want to go ahead and start more programs started by current and former officers. I believe that my experience, as an IT software engineer, event organizer and volunteer, has helped me develop leadership and cultural skills that will enhance my ability to create a sense of community and solidarity among international students at UCD.

My manifesto goals:

  • Make international people more aware of their rights in the various spheres of life of any university student. Ensuring that they get equal opportunities.
  • Equal opportunities are offered through the Jobs and Careers of the university by organizing career exhibitions and International Student Employment.
  • Promote international communities and their events that give international students the opportunity to participate in SU activities.
  • Ensure that the voice of the international student is heard and the problems and difficulties students face 

Mahnoor Choudhry – Co-Editor

Conor Paterson – Co-Editor