Another year at Queen’s begins and if you were to judge by the ridiculous marketing strategies employed by nightclubs trying to get fresher’s attentions in front of the Lanyon, you’d be inclined to think that perhaps some things not only never change but get worse.
However within the University and Students Union there is reason in 2014/2015 to at least hope for an interesting year ahead.
Patrick Johnston is our new Vice Chancellor. He takes on the helm after a tumultuous year of disputes between UCU and the University regards the rate of pay of cleaners, shop workers and lecturers employed by the university.
The publication of the delay of his new ‘vison’ has been put off from the summer past to autumn due to wanting to hear more opinions. I have not yet seen any emails asking the opinion of students.
The end of last term brought a fresh face to the leadership of the SU with underdog Ciaran Gallagher being the first pirate to be elected to President and the first President in several years to not have led the law ticket.
As I enter my final year at Queen’s it is true to say that many students are apathetic. Lacklustre SU leadership in the past two years cannot have helped much. Not since the campaign to maintain the cap on fees for Northern Irish students in 2010 have student officers led activism.
Yet it is also true to say that there are students that care with no better example being the successful ‘Save Student Jobs’ campaign which prevented student SU security jobs from being fully privatised under G4S in 2013. A random coalition of concerned students secured hundreds of signatures opposing the selloff in a mere few days.
Student journalism continues to be alive and well. I wish to thank Megan Liddy and Tara McEvoy for their support and friendship not only in my last two years with the Gown but in also helping me to get this issue out. I also wish to thank my team who I look forward to working with in our 60th year.
I hope that fresher’s will not only throw themselves into the fun of being a university student but also take an active role in shaping the kind of University and Student’s Union they wish to see.