By Seán McKillen
That semester has passed by extremely quickly. Welcome to Week 11. This will be my final piece until next semester. I just want to wish everyone the best of luck with their final assignments of the semester. I hope you all have a fantastic winter break, and come back rearing to go for the second semester.
It has been an exciting semester in the PSU. We have been busy tackling many of the issues facing postgraduate students here in UL. Since taking on this job, I have been engaged in ongoing dialogue with many departments regarding exploitative policies impacting on the postgraduate community. This work will continue over the winter break and right up until my term expires in June 2016. There is plenty left to accomplish.
I have represented individual students in meetings with their supervisors and heads of department and have worked with the Graduate School in helping students to avail of the official grievance procedures in the university. The PSU is quite simply here to represent students in all avenues relating to academic life here in UL. If you are having any issues over the course of your study here, do not hesitate to get in touch with me. At this stage you all know where the PSU is located. Feel free to drop me an email and we can arrange a time to chat.
Starting in the new-year, the PSU will be hosting a series of faculty specific research postgraduate forums to address the concerns of PhD and research MA students. People can feel safe in knowing that any of their contributions will be kept anonymous. I believe meetings such as these are necessary as there seems to be a great deal of fear in the postgraduate community about bringing these issues to staff.
I’m happy to continue advocating on your behalf. But I do believe these meetings will lead to positive benefits for the postgraduate community in UL. No one wants to go it alone, and this will ensure that you will be given the opportunity to highlight your concerns in a safe space, as well as being able to identify issues of common concern across your departments/faculties.
That’s it from me for now. I’ll be in the office up until December 22nd before heading away for Christmas, feel free to pop in and say hello.