Candidate for the position of Vice President for Academic Life

Image for Tom Ryan

Tom Ryan

About Me

I am 21 years old studying English and psychology. I’m enjoying my time as a first year student at ATU, I believe college is an important milestone for those who are privileged enough to experience it. Before the Atlantic technical university was created my first taste of academic life was a general engineering course in GMIT. My first year was very hectic as I had to deal with online learning alongside commuting to Galway every Monday and Tuesday, Iin the back of my mind I had felt as if I lost out on the first year experience. Nevertheless I managed to form great bonds with some of my peers and after speaking to Keelan about his experiences over the last three years with COVID, its given me a new perspective on how versatile we can be when faced with such issues. 

Why I'm applying for the role

Firstly I’d like to talk about why I am applying for the role of VP academic life. Coming from a small village in rural Ireland I always found myself being involved in everything from GAA to beach cleanups and local festivals. Just because I had little or no choice in the matter ! Everyone knew your business so you couldn’t get away with having a day off. I think college is no different a lot of students get caught up in the “small town syndrome” phenomenon. As an academic I think its paramount that I ensure a safe environment for my peers. When elected I project to use my understanding of the human condition to work alongside my peers to help them maximise their academic potential.

My vision

My vision as VP for academic life is simple, my team in residency will act indispensably on behalf of our fellow students. I will demonstrate dedication to my role as a correspondent for students and the services in which they may need. Secondly I am obliged to help any student who may be experiencing issues making friends or simply finding their way around the campus. I am fully committed to nurturing the talents of our undergraduates 

To achieve this I hope to run several events during my residency. Firstly, I hope organise regular academic competitions that challenge our minds and reward excellence. One thing I loved from my secondary school days were debate competitions. What inspired me to mention this was when my mate Ben who told me about his day out he had with the chess club. Fun and accessible events like this need to be made available to the student population as it will directly impact their academic abilities, such as critical thinking, research and communication skills. 

Talent shows that feature singing, dancing, poetry, and acting performances. This will provide an excellent platform for students to express their creativity and showcase their talents. Moreover, I would like to organise sports tournaments such as basketball and 5 a-side soccer. These tournaments will provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their sportsmanship, teamwork and leadership skills while also building interpersonal relationships. 

In addition to this I would like to look at workshops and training sessions in different fields. For example music, drama, and poetry. These events will provide students with the opportunity to learn and improve their skills in a supportive and encouraging environment. In my second year of engineering in Galway I would often take off to the pub with a few of my mates to see SLAM poetry. Thinking back now I would have really appreciated it if there were events like this happening in the college while I was studying.

Moving on from this I also hope to work towards establishing a strong academic support system that will help struggling students overcome academic challenges. This will include further correspondence with foróige who thankfully have an office in Sligo town. While also making more services available for international students like the connect café. 

As academic life Vice President I am advocating for better library hours. I plan on using surveys to collect evidence on which times the library is most often used. It would be interesting to have this information as it could benefit both the staff and students time. 

In summary academic life is an important part of the college experience. As a student, it is important to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and how you plan to do it. I am running for Vice President with the goal of improving the academic life of our students. I hope my manifesto reflects this commitment by emphasizing the importance of academic life. I believe that academic success is not just about good grades, it's about learning how to think critically, communicating effectively, working collaboratively and developing leadership skills that will serve you well in your future endeavors. 

As I outline my plans to make sure that our students have access to the resources they need to succeed academically; such as tutoring services, study groups, and other support systems. I also plan on advocating for more student involvement in college activities and events so that our students can get the most out of their College experience.

Why you should vote for me

In conclusion, I am excited and determined to work as Vice President for Academic Life if elected. My ambition is to make sure that student life is given adequate representation in any decision taken by the union. To idealise this, I am open to any initiative which makes it easier for students individually or collectively from Ireland or different parts of the world to be granted adequate representation. I will ensure an open door policy so that students can openly express their views and concerns in order to achieve my primary aim

A fulfilling academic life!

Thanks for reading my manifesto.