MSU Elections Executive Candidates – Niamh Halpenny, VP for Education

Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your background?

My name is Niamh Halpenny, and I am the current education officer of the SU, I am a graduate of English and Geography and I am 22 years of age.

What made you decide to run again for this position?

I decided I wanted to run for the position again because I felt that for all the officers this year, it took a few months to get settled into our new roles and to find a our bearings but now because I am already in the role I can get stuck in from day 1. I feel from my experience, I now know the university and the SU better, and I know what is achievable and most of all feasible. I feel with this experience I can make a bigger difference next year.

What are the 3 main focus points of your campaign?

My 3 main points are:

Academic Advisory- after building relationships with the university, they now want me to be become a recognised adviser if reelected which means instead of being a referral service for students I can now offer proper guidance and advice

Transparency-the first point I want to offer my timetable on a weekly basis for students to see so that they can see when I am available and when I am not as sometimes it can be hard for students to get me as I sit on 20-25 committees.

Publicly funded education- I want to continue the fight against the purposed loan schemes with all Maynooth students behind me. I have contacted TD’S from across Kildare and I am currently organising meetings with them to get them on our side, the student side.

With a week of campaigning under your belt, what issues have come to light and how would you address them?

Space has seemed to be the biggest issues with students, and right through my year I have helped classes and students with this matter and I have no problem continuing my work with the timetable.

What is the first thing you would do/change in the position if you won?

There is a huge lack of training for incoming Sabbats and I think it is vital for the incoming team to get trained up properly before September as believe me they don’t know what is coming once the freshers hit Maynooth. Don’t get me wrong the job is amazing but first time Sabbats can sometimes get lost in their first few months. So I would really aid with the crossover training for the incoming team, as the only current sabbat potentially to still be in the union.