After exhaustive campaigning, 25-year-old Rachael Heaney from Bangor, has been elected as SERC Student Governor for 2017/18, having secured enough votes at the polling stations. Rachael is currently completing her Access Level 3 Diploma in Foundation Studies at SERC where she has studied for the last number of years.
On becoming Student Governor Rachael had this to say; “I am delighted to have been elected as Student Governor for SERC and am honoured to represent the students. With the scale of issues that face us including mental ill health, gender equality, tuition fees and funding cuts it is important that the student voice is heard by policy and decision makers. I will be representing all students at SERC so my role as Student Governor is a fundamental one in promoting their interests.
“As Governor, I aim to give students a say into what happens at the College. As a Union we will be organising a whole host of events, including a Re-Freshers Fair in February.
“I always wanted the opportunity to demonstrate and develop my leadership skills so running for Student Governor gave me the chance to do just that. For me, it is important that student’ voices are heard, and that any concerns and issues students are faced with are brought to the attention of the college staff. As Student Governor my focus is on the wellbeing and health of students. I also hope to encourage more students to actively participate and get involved in SERCSU activities.“
"Taking up the post has been challenging but also very rewarding. It is a fantastic opportunity to make a real difference to how SERCSU and the College are run, and it also looks impressive on my CV! As Student Governor I sit on the Governing Body, education and audit committee of SERC and have equal voting powers to the other board members.
“Already through my experiences of being a Student Governor and over the next year, I’m looking forward to enhancing the student experience and livening up the design of social areas around the college. Working with and listening to other students’ ideas on how to improve their learning experience at SERC is something I hope to do well in this role, but I am also keen to encourage the student body to come and talk to us about any concerns or suggestions regarding issues they feel are relevant.”
Sonya Nelson, Student Affairs Officer at SERC said; “This year we saw an increase in the number of SERC voters! The Student Union at SERC aims to enhance the learning experience through a variety of cultural, educational, social and recreational programs. Rachael has embraced all the opportunities that have come her way and it was thanks to be becoming a mental health ambassador that she initially decided to run for Student Governor. Rachael also took part in the You in Mind campaign and was a health and safety rep. I am confident that she will make a real difference in her time as Student Governor.”
As well as securing improvements for the College, SERCSU runs its own activities to improve social interaction, health and welfare events, sports and social activities. The Union also works closely with NUS-USI to promote, extend and defend the rights of students in Northern Ireland. The Student Union is a key part of life at SERC, working closely with College staff, students and external bodies to provide an inclusive experience for everyone. As Governor of the Students Union Rachael will gain a wealth of experience organising events and chairing meetings which will support her in her career when she completes her studies.