For many people entering college for the first time or even returning for their final year, the prospect of putting themselves forward for any kind of political office is daunting. However, as the attendees at today’s ‘What it takes to be a class rep’ seminar hosted by Education Officer Aimee Connolly uncovered, the rewards of being a representative far outweigh the perceived “risks” of running.
An emphasis was placed on the fact that a class rep can be anyone. This was an encouraging message for incoming first years in particular. Whilst they may view what seems to be an intimidating political campaign during their college teething period as social masochism, it is clear that putting yourself forward can help you make friends and integrate with your course in a more nuanced way.
This integration process mainly occurs through class reps duties. These tasks involve a “fun weekends training” along with highly rewarding endeavours such as creating a facebook group, emailing lecturers, ordering class hoodies, or organizing “amazing nights out.” If anyone running had any doubts as to their capabilities in these areas, the presence of a highly skilled Sabbatical Team acts as a form of continuous support.
This support is offered through every echelon of the students union. Should anyone fear that they are unable to attain an affordable hoodie for their classmates, Communications Officer Paraic McLean can lend a helping hand in securing sponsorship. Similarly, Ents Officer David Flood’s door is always open to the more ambitious reps looking to organise the kind of events “only college students can get away with.”
Alongside these highly endearing responsibilities, every class rep receives a spot on the Student Union’s monthly Council, complemented by an “awesome hoodie.” For the unconvinced, there are also opportunities for personal glory, with the Class Rep of the Year earning a Trinity Ball Ticket, ancillary to all the personal satisfaction derived from doing a great job in an important role.
With nominations closing on September 14th at noon, there’s not much time left to apply to be the, as Student Union President Shane De Rís would describe it, “all five sabbatical offices rolled into one.” Those wishing to put themselves forward can apply in House 6, online, or at the various pop-up tables situated around campus. Contested elections will take place through next week, with successful candidates emailed the following Monday.
If today’s talk was anything to go by, it is a role that is both suited and accessible to all. Even if you don’t see yourself as the next Abraham Lincoln, it is certainly a shot in the dark worth taking.