Peter Donnelly, Editor
In the run up to the Student Union Elections, taking place on Monday 1st March 2021, The Gown is featuring those candidates running in the Queen’s University Student Union Elections, for the next 2021-2022 academic year.
As The Gown Editor, I am pleased to introduce Niamh Oddy, running for the position of Equality & Diversity Student Officer. Niamh has been kind enough to submit her objectives for her 2021 campaign run.
Hi, I am Niamh Oddy and I’m running for VP Equality and Diversity.
I’m a MSc International Public Policy student, having also graduated from QUB with a Politics BA in 2020. I am a Postgraduate Rep on the SU Council, campaign lead for Project Choice and the co-founder of the Belfast Girl Gang. I was also previously the President of Amnesty QUB.
I’m running for election as I want to create systematic change within the SU with tangible initiatives that will improve the lives of students across the university.
If elected, I will:
- Introduce initiatives to make accommodation after for LGBTQ+ students, mainly by establishing an emergency housing support fund as well as training Elms staff on how to support students experiencing homophobic behaviour in accommodation.
- Introduce support initiatives for GB students, through introducing a peer mentoring scheme, more weekend social events and lobbying to extend the GB scholarship.
- Accessibility of online learning for disabled students is similarly a key priority for me. I want to lobby to continue the accessibility of recorded lectures as well as an overhaul of the closed captioning system.
- For international students, I want to lobby to extend the COVID disruption payment as well as introduce specialised career advice for those wishing to stay in NI/UK/Ire post-graduation. I also want to extend the COVID care packages to provide a safety net for international students facing financial hardship.
- Finally, I want to foster student activism, through introducing skills workshops to foster skills such as lobbying, online activism, branding etc.
Students should be empowered and supported by the SU to fight for the change they want to see. I want to advocate for these policies, and more, to make students feel valued and heard by the SU and Queen’s University itself.
The Gown invites all candidates standing for election this year to contact us in order to be given a platform to unveil their campaign objectives and pledges. Given the current public health circumstances, in which we all find ourselves, it is these times that homegrown, student-led societies, such as The Gown, are an invaluable tool for spreading the student voice.
A full list of candidates are available on the Queen’s University Student Union website, here.