By Seán McKillen
Welcome back to all those returning for the second semester. I hope it will be another enjoyable experience for you all. This promises to be an extremely busy semester for the PSU. I thought that I would take this time to highlight two important events which will be taking place in Week 4 of this semester.
The first event of note is the PSU elections, which take place on Thursday, February 18th. There are two elections scheduled to take place. They are for PSU President and PSU Vice President/Treasurer. Both are crucial roles.
Traditionally the VP has been elected at the AGM. Although it will remain a part time position, the impact it can have on a stable Union should not be underestimated. I have been incredibly fortunate to have such a dedicated VP in Elaine O’Connor, and it’s my hope that the next President can call on a similar level of support and advice from their VP. In making it an elected position, the two successful candidates will be afforded the opportunity to take up their roles at the same time.
Nominations for both positions open on Monday 1st February (Week 2) and close on Friday 12th February (Week 3). Anyone interested in running can collect a nomination pack with full details of the election procedures and guidelines from my office in the PSU. The main point to note with the nomination process is that each potential candidate will need the signatures of 20 registered postgraduate students to put themselves on the ballot. I will be in touch over the coming weeks to provide updates on the process.
Being President of the PSU has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience for me. It has been tough, challenging and yet energising. Day to day you won’t be able to predict how your time will be spent. The wide range of issues facing all of us taking on the challenge of postgraduate study requires a strong and flexible character to be there to help out when needed. I have been supported well by my Council and Executive and without this stable foundation, the year could not have progressed so smoothly.
The PSU is fully autonomous and as such requires somebody willing to work for the benefit of the full postgraduate community, both taught and research. Any previous affiliations to other groups in UL should be checked at the door with the focus remaining solely on providing the best possible service to our postgraduate students. If anyone is contemplating running for either position, you are welcome to call in to me to have a chat about it. I’m happy to offer whatever advice I can.
On Friday 19th of February the PSU will host its annual Ball in The Pavilion. I have circulated most of this information by email before Christmas. The main points to note are that the tickets are on sale now. They cost €25 each. This includes a three course meal, and entertainment provided by the band Drive as well as a closing set from UL DJ Society. We have significantly lowered the price of the tickets as we are not seeking to rip off students. Too many events at third level are prohibitively priced and stop many from being able to attend. This rip off culture is not welcome. The constant search for profit at the expense of the student experience is a damaging by-product of unnecessary greed.
The tickets can be purchased directly from the PSU (Stables Courtyard) or at the ULSU reception in the main student courtyard. 20% of all ticket sales will go directly to nominated charities. I put out a call to the postgraduate community before the Christmas break looking for charity suggestions. You responded in great numbers and we will go about whittling down your suggestions and will announce this year’s recipients. We really hope you can join us for what promises to be a fantastic evening.
If you have any queries feel free to forward them on to Sean.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. In the meantime, enjoy the beginning of the new semester.