By Ciara Corcoran
The last few weeks have been really crazy here with lots of planning for mental health week and the referendum. Week 10 was Mental Health Week with Breakfast with Bressie on Tuesday morning proving to be a huge success. I hope that hearing Bressie’s personal experience and some small tips on how to look after your mental health has helped you all in some way. The Limerick Students Walk and Talk event was on Tuesday night raising money for Pieta House. A 4km walk promoting positive mental health and the strength of students when we come together brought out almost 300 people to the streets of Limerick. Thursday marked the start of our 24 hour cycle against suicide. As the national cycle takes place during the exams this year we decided to run our own event and raising the awareness on campus. ReachOut were also here on Thursday with their ‘Note to Self’ event. To those who took part; look out for the postman who will have your postcard sometime in the future! The HSE also trained 25 students in SafeTalk suicide awareness and intervention training. Overall a really successful week so a major thank you!
Samaritans continue to host their listening service in the SU on Thursday evening from 6-8 for any of you who may need a friendly face to have a chat with when the Counselling Centre and SU offices are closed. Next semester we will be training students to be part of this listening service as volunteers; if you’d like to get involved with this you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday April 13th is voting day for a referendum to introduce a levy in order to build a new student centre and enhanced sports facilities. Our current student centre is not fit for purpose as the population of UL is now 3 times the size as when this current building was built. Maguires pitches are simply not good enough and a Yes vote in the referendum will see these pitches renovated and open for use by all students, not just Clubs and Societies. The levy will not begin until September 2017 and will be €36 for two academic years (September ‘17 & September ‘18) when 40% of the project is ready for use. The levy will then rise to €90 when the project is complete in September ‘19. Many of you here today will not have to pay the full levy but have the opportunity to leave a legacy behind you. Students before us gave us this student centre, the boathouse, the Arena, and now we have the opportunity to provide fantastic facilities for those coming after us maybe brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, maybe yourselves if you choose to continue studying in UL. This is an opportunity we cannot miss out on so vote Yes on April 13th!
As this is the last edition of An Focal for this year I must say it’s been a fantastic year in the Welfare office and it wouldn’t have happened without all of you so thank you. We’ve accomplished so much this year between having successful campaigns, running a referendum, securing another full time counsellor, providing thousands of euro in financial aid and childcare bursaries for students, training 75+ students in suicide awareness and intervention trainings and meeting and helping lots of you on a day to day basis! It’s safe to say it’s been a really busy year but one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve ever had. Thank you to you all who voted me into this office and I hope I represented you all as best I could.
Look after yourselves,