University of Limerick Post Graduate Students Union (ULPSU) host election hustings before Thursdays vote.
The event, hosted by Declan Mills was held in the new appellate court in the Glucksman Library on Monday afternoon.
Vice Presidential candidate Sanj Shashikumar explains why representation is so important.
“PSU is like a second home to most of us, post-grads and research students,” she said.
Representation is a hot-button issue in this election.
Vice-President candidate Maoiliosa Ni Loidean’s election manifesto pushes for a more inclusive union, and the hiring of an Ethnic Minorities Officer is one of her election points.
The candidates for vice president are Sanj Shashikumar, Monica Mamantha, Ronan Buckley, and Maoiliosa Ni Loideain.
The presidential candidates are Stephen Linnane, Abraham Ireland and Tess van den Brink.
Manifesto items included accessibility, the PSU common room, mental health, LGBTQI and employment.
The candidates are also looking forward to a close relationship with UL Student Life (ULSL).
Presidential candidate Abraham Ireland says that working with ULSL will benefit all students.
“We need to come together, bring ideas to the table and see how we can improve the lives of all students in the university,” he said.
Students who attended the hustings had the opportunity to voice their own concerns and ask the candidates questions.
Employment was an issue for the students in the audience with some international students expressing concerns about restrictions on their ability to find work.
The candidates say more information is needed to be distributed to students.
Sanjana Shashikumar’s election promises pledged for a creation of a “UCD-model” for postgraduate taught students, which includes providing internships or, setting up projects as an alternative to thesis submission
Presidential candidate Stephen Linnane says work after graduation can be difficult to find.
“We need to fill the gap between graduation and getting a job because the university is not doing enough in my opinion,” he said.
Ronan Buckey’s election manifesto also discussed the need for more intergration for international students:
According to his manifesto, “there have been claims and reports of scamming and false advertisement of accommodation targeting incoming postgraduate students coming from abroad and returning to study. I propose we help international students settle into life in Limerick by assisting their obtaining of accommodation and potential employment before their expected arrival.”
Equality was another big concern for audience members.
Mounika Karri’s manifesto seeks to organise more cultural events centric to international students, which improves the diversity and cultural appreciation among the students.
Presidential candidate Tess van den Brink says that all students deserve support.
“I am going to operate an open- door policy, it doesn’t matter where you are from, who you are, what your social status is, what your sexual orientation is, what your gender identification is, everyone is welcome,” she said.
While many of the issues discussed were serious ones, the candidates added their own personality and humour to the proceedings, especially vice- presidential candidate, Ronan Buckley.
“Can’t pass on issues around UL campus because the buck stops here,” he said.
Watch the full video of the event here: