A Dream Come True …
I entered this University just over two years ago. I was grateful to be here from day 1, and entered with the persona of wanting to give back. To give my situation some context, I should be in Aberdeen in Scotland. Getting UL was a dream come through, and that feeling of seeing ‘B.Sc Physiotherapy’ in an email from the CAO, is something I will never forget.
Since I set foot on this beautiful campus I always wanted to give back. Back to whom you ask? The UL Experience. From when one sets foot on campus, one experiences UL. Whether it be the winding bike paths, The Farmer’s Market, or simply acknowledging Tony Sheridan’s majestic beard, that is an experience within UL.
I Gave Back To My Clubs & Developed A Passion
I became involved with Clubs and Societies via UL GAA. I played on the Fresher 2 Hurlers back in 2014/15, and experienced a comradery that is impossible to put into words. The craic, the game was played, and I walked away with an All-Ireland league medal, representing countless training sessions, memories, and moments. Not something everyone can say.
In the second semester, I ended up going to Ógra Fianna Fáil’s AGM, brought by a friend, knowing I had an interest in politics. It was there I was bitten by the committee bug – the bug to stand up, represent, and let my voice be heard. This was the first of seven that I ended up sitting on, in an 18-month stint of a Club and Societies Overdose.
Hard Work Doesn’t Go Unnoticed
Coming back to 2nd year, I decided to increase my involvement. I applied to work as an orientation guide for both the Access Office, and the UL’s Orientation. I entered firmly of trying to give the incoming Fresher’s the same experience I had: A familiar face, with a bank of knowledge about the University, from the location of Subway, to where to get the best coffee on Campus. I met fantastic figures, people that signposted me in the right direction, to continue being involved in student life. The Students’ Union was calling.
The GAA asked me represent them at C&S Council, and I ended up with the position of representing all, on the key committees within the Students’ Union. And what a time I had: A referendum, Threatened Walk-Outs, and quite possibly my favourite quote overheard: “That decision went down like a cup of cold sick”. It was an incredible year. I represented the Clubs of ULSU on a total of 5 committees in the SU, met fantastic people, experienced unforgettable moments and all in all, gained invaluable experience while helping those who needed advice. 110 hours volunteered, on top of working weekends, and studying. I was presented with the Gold President’s Volunteer Award. A warm-up for the conferring, hopefully!
And here I am, now into third year, with the thought of currently not wanting to leave this dreamland. Volunteering, and being engaged with the Union has added to who I am today, as clichéd and all as it sounds. I chaired my first Union General Meeting Last night. For me, something I would have never thought I would have done, back in the First Seven Weeks of my 1st year.
Do not be afraid to try representation out. The Union is a valuable resource to all students that exists on campus. There is not a better time to get involved, with the turning of the sod imminent on the New Student Centre, along with the Sporting Facility improvements. Be it running for class rep. or joining a committee for C&S, you can contribute to other student’s experience here.
TL;DR: Volunteer. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Engaged with your Union, not to try something new. Everything is an experience. And you, yes you, can add to every student’s experience in UL.
Importance Of Getting Involved With The Students’ Union
Hi, my name is Chris and I am the UL Experience Chairperson. I am part of Student Council, the Students Union Executive, the Board of Management and a few more groups. It sounds really fancy and boring but it isn’t. A students Union is made by the students, is run for the students and run by the students.
To be truthful, in my first year of college that would not have been my answer. I had no idea what it did and I am certain if I was asked what does the Students Union do when I was in 1st year the answer would have been nothing! What changed my view? A Class Rep. – A Class Rep who was just doing their job. That’s why I got involved.
It Benefited Me And It Can Benefit You
It was election week in UL which takes place in the second semester to pick the sabbattcal team for the next year in the Students Union (President, Academic Officer and Welfare Officer). It was the year of #TheWolfOfUL Tommy Bolger who became a viral sensation with the following ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ parody video.
However I met another candidate, Mark Nother, who explained what the SU was, what it does and why it is so important to student life in UL. After that week I developed a keen interest in Student Council, still not sure what it does but I wanted to learn more. I got a nomination form from Liz Gabbett, who is like a second mom to us all here in UL.
Student Services was my 1st role so I started by running a Lost and Found Facebook page. Simple but I wanted to do more. The Chairperson of UL Experience resigned due to the amount of college work she faced in 4th year. The other members suggested I take the role. 4th year students asking a 2nd year to take the job, I was flattered but nervous. When I look back now at my decision to take the role, I am so happy I did. Since then I have marched down O’Connell Street for Free Education, assisted in charity week, held the 1st “UL Experience 24 Hour Cycle against Suicide”, helped campaign for a new Students Centre, and so much more, but the thing I value the most is the friends I have made for life.