Cillian O Donohue – The new UL Student President pictured above
Cillian O Donohue announced as new UL Student President
By I Love Limerick Correspondent Jade Crowe
The annual University of Limerick Student Election gives a chance to each student attending the University to vote for the UL Student Life President who they feel will best represent their student community.
This year’s student election campaign took place in the short spell of just three days from Monday, March 22 to Thursday, March 25. Given current circumstances, this year’s campaign took place exclusively as a virtual event.
The announcement of this year’s Student President took place via a live stream through the UL Student Life Facebook page. Anticipations were high as the live stream commenced, however, Clare native Cillian O’ Donohue was eventually announced as UL Student President for the 21/22 Academic Year.
We chatted to Cillian about his aspirations for taking on this prestigious role.
What was your childhood like and where did you grow up?
I’m from the beautiful county Clare, just outside the town of Ennis. I grew up there and it was great! I played a lot of sports growing up, Hurling, Football and Soccer. I attended St Flannans College and when it came to filling out my CAO form, UL was my first choice!
UL is a magical place and without a doubt, we have the best campus in the country! I’ve enjoyed studying Business with German so far, but I found some of the academic aspects difficult at times. As I’ve experienced this, I think I can bring a good outlook for every single student.
What inspired you to go for the role of UL student president?
I have worked in The Stables as a barman since my first year of college. While working here, I have experienced first-hand that UL means something different to every single student. I would love to be a representative voice for all of UL’s students and use my voice to better the student experience for UL students.
How was the election campaign? Did you encounter any difficulties?
The Election campaign was an amazing experience. Everything was done through social media due to current restrictions which proved to be tough, but I received great support from all of UL’s students which I’m so grateful for!
How does it feel to be elected as the new UL Student President?
I’m very humbled to be in this position. I’m overwhelmed by the response and support that I’ve received from the UL community. I’m excited to commence my position as Student President in June.
You have brought up the idea of creating a UL mobile app, how will this improve the flow of the university and campus as a whole?
As we return to normality, the app will make things like booking Library desks or a spot in the Gym helpful! Students will also be able to access their timetable and other resources on the App!
How will you aim to make mental health a priority rather than a ‘project’?
I’m planning to increase funding for UL Éist, UL’s mental health service. I also want to increase social media campaigns and workshops to promote positive mental health, as well as creating an atmosphere for better Lecturer-Student engagement.
What is the most significant impact you hope to make on the university and student community?
I hope to make the transition back to pre-Covid normality as easy as possible for students. The last year has brought uncertainty for all of UL’s students. I am hopeful that the next year will bring positive change whether this be a sense of normality or the ‘new normal’ it is vital that students feel supported and are given the tools and reassurance they need. This is my priority.
What can incoming first-year students expect from you?
Incoming 1st years can expect someone who is relatable, approachable and will always do the best for them! I’m aware that next year, we will be in a position where 1st and 2nd years will have never experienced life on campus, while 3rd years will have experiences just 5 months on campus before the pandemic. I want to ensure that all students are given the opportunity to be integrated back to on-campus life.
And lastly, what do you love about Limerick?
As well as going to college here for the past 4 years I also did my Co-Op work placement here in the city centre! I love UL and the Castletroy area a lot, but I don’t think you can beat a walk along the River Shannon, and of course as a proud Clare man the road back to Clare is pretty good!
For more information on UL Student Life go HERE
For more stories on the University of Limerick go HERE