Class Rep training took place in Avon Rí, Blessington on the weekend of the 7th to 9th of October.
UCD Students’ Union Campaigns and Communication Officer Brendan Lacey was pleased with the event, “I thought it went really well, I was really happy with the reps this year, they’re a really good bunch; they took on the workload, they seemed really up for doing the work this year”.
The finances of class rep training and whether the costs merited the result have, in previous years, been a contentious issue. However, Lacey insists that he did everything in his power to keep the costs down for this year’s event, “it was a case of scrimping all the pennies we could, finding the cheapest place, finding a place that could accommodate us … in Avon Rí they didn’t have rooms but we were given houses so we could put more people in [them], we could just literally ram [people] in”.
€11,000 was spent on class rep training last year, and is down €7,500 to €8,000 this year “we’re getting there every year in terms of saving the cost, I know there’s a big issue with the cost every year … that was as good as I could possibly do”.
Lacey finds that the newly elected reps have been effective in the week following training, “they’ve all been out lecture addressing, they’ve all been setting up their Facebook groups, all the things we asked them to do to help them communicate with their class. I’m really impressed by them so far – they’ve all been really on the ball”.
Events held during the week included “bonding and breaking the ice exercises” on Friday after arrival, modules, including ones from each of the Sabbatical officers on Saturday and talks from their programme officers, as well as a ‘how to be a good class rep’ lecture on Sunday.
Communications company Carr Communications, described by Lacey as “one of the top communication companies in the country”, were brought in specially “to do a lot of public speaking and communicating because I wasn’t happy with the level of communicating previously”.
A major focus was put on classes being informed in the lead up to council as to what motions were coming up and encouraging reps to know what the “feeling of their class is like, is there any motions that they have any particular interest in or want to say anything on”, as that is something Lacey feels the Union has fallen down on in the past, “class reps tend come with their own opinion, it’s something we were massively discouraging them from this year”.
“I think it was on par [with previous years]. I was really happy with it. All the reps seemed really happy with it and all the people returning seemed really happy with it, that’s the only indication I can go on.”