Name: Megan-Louise Ryan
Course: 3rd year Science Education
Why did you decide to run for this position?
I decided to run for this position because I wanted to give back to UL for all the things the college has done for me over the years and I want to ensure that future years get the help they deserve.
Have you always been involved in SU?
I became a class rep in first year. A few weeks into college I saw that the Student’s Union were hiring for Ents crew- they needed fun, enthusiastic and caring people so of course I wanted to be involved. This is my fourth year now working as part of the Ents crew and the knowledge and skills I have acquired is unmeasurable. Throw in working for the Stables, being an Orientation Guide and showing people around on open days you could say I love to be involved in all aspects of college life.
Have you any other politically active experience?
When I was between 15-17 I was part of the Wexford Comhairle na nOg. Comhairle na nÓg are child and youth councils in Ireland, which give children and young people the opportunity to be involved in the development of local services and policies. This allowed me to represent my county on a national level and be involved in the introduction of new laws surrounding young people.
Have you any involvement with Clubs and Societies?
Yes, I’ve been a member of UL Music Soc since first year. I’ve also worked with Ents for 4 years now, even though this isn’t a club or a soc for me it was like one. We meet up for work maybe once a week and for the big weeks in UL like Charity and Freshers. In our line of work you really have to trust the people you work with and you get to know them very well. Teamwork skills are a huge factor of how well an event will go. I’ve had to learn to compromise and to think quickly on my feet to ensure the safety and happiness of students.
Why do you feel this role is right for you?
I’ve worked in the students union for 4 years now. I know the goings on and I know what needs to be done in order to make change happen. Being a Welfare Officer means having compassion and wanting to help those around you. I love helping people and making people happy. This role was made for me and I’ll do everything I can to ensure I get it.
What would you like people to take away from your policies?
My main aim is to improve and highlight the services currently available in UL. Many people in UL are unaware of the services that are on offer to them, whether its counselling services, financial services or academic services. I believe that no one should feel alone in the struggles.
Do you think you have put forward a strong manifesto that is tailored to the majority of the student body? Why?
Yes, I feel like my manifesto appeals to a broad range of students. 1 in 5 college students will face some kind of mental illness over the course of their studies. This can be caused by financial worries, academic stresses and lonlieness to name a few. I want to improve on the services we have available. Mental and physical health go hand in hand, I want to promote a health lifestyle on campus and encourage people to look after themselves.
What skills/qualities can you bring to the role?
I’m a bubbly and approachable person. I feel like people wont be afraid to come to me with their problems and concerns. I also feel like I am very relatable. I’ve been very open about my mental health in the past and I feel like students will be more inclined to talk to someone who has been there before.
What would you do differently to the sabbat before you?
I would work more on student engagement and try to get people who normally wouldn’t get involved in SU events interested. Roberta did a great job in promoting physical health and wellbeing with the Ul transforms which I aim to continue on from.
When you’re not running for a sabbatical position, what do you do for fun?
For fun I love to sing. I’ve always loved singing, now whether I can actually hold a note is another question! I love to go out with my friends and being sociable; concerts, gigs, anything that involves music.
What music do you listen to and what’s your favourite band?
My music taste is so broad. I love reggae/rap/r&b but at the same time I love disco and house. My favourite singer would have to be Maverick Sabre. As for DJ acts Bicep and Dense and Pika are my favourite
What type of friend are you on a night out i.e. the mom friend…?
I’m definitely the mother of the group when I’m out, I’m very level headed and calm and I’m used to dealing with drunken people so it just comes naturally.
Where’s your favourite place in Limerick/favourite place to go out?
Stables is usually where you’ll find me even if it is just passing through, I’ll always call in to see my work mates and see what’s going on.