With more than 10,000 students attending college in Maynooth, a job on the student union is a daunting task.
For 21 year old Síona Cahill, however, it’s a challenge she is looking forward to taking on, after recently being elected Vice President for Welfare and Equality.
Having decided to run for the position just after Christmas, Síona quickly set out on the campaign trail, working hard along with her campaign team to show the student body why she was the ideal candidate for the job.
Though she already had plenty of campaign experience under her belt – Síona worked on the Elizabeth Warren campaign and the Obama re-election campaign while studying in Boston college – the Law and Sociology student explains, “it’s a whole different side of the coin when it’s your name on the posters”.
However, she admits that her previous experience taught her a lot about the practicalities of campaigning. Grateful for all the support received, Síona extends her thanks to “my absolutely fantastic campaign team that rallied behind me.”
Now that she has been elected, Síona is setting her sights towards the task at hand, stating that the main aim is to be an accessible support for students.
“It’s important that if they have any concerns that they know they have somebody they can talk to,” Síona adds.
Going into office at the beginning of July, the Colehill native’s first aim is to work with first years.
“My main focus in the initial few weeks of college will be freshers,” Síona continues, adding that regardless of where they have come to the university from, it’s important that “they know that this campus is a safe space for them”.
Throughout her term, Síona hopes to keep a keen focus on mental health and marriage equality. It is her aim to help make the campus “as safe a place as possible for people to be who they are.”
Making sure that welfare services and supports are as visible and contactable as possible, Síona also hopes to show how important positive mental health is.
In regards to marriage equality, the Vice President-elect explains that her fellow students, particularly those some colleges, could find it harder to get a job, or even be fired because of their sexuality.
Eager to start training to be “as equipped as possible” for the job at hand, Síona concludes; “It’s a huge task but I’m really looking forward to it.”