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Blog: ISSU President

Hi everyone!

My name is Craig McHugh and I am the President of the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union (ISSU), the national umbrella body organisation for student councils in the republic of Ireland. I am writing this blog today in the hope of reaching out to students and explaining more about what we do here in ISSU. I have set myself a pledge and a lot of goals within the last four months of my term as ISSU President. Education in this country is changing; and it’s important that we the students of 2015 know what’s going on and have an input into the conversations and discussions that are going on around it.

Over the next year ISSU wants to expand its membership base and become a much more democratic and representative organisation and doing so is both a challenge and an easy accomplishment. Membership is free and ISSU is an entirely not for profit apolitical organisation. ISSU is not only about education reform; in a series of blog posts myself and my fellow ISSU Student Officers are going to explain to you just what this organisation does for its members, how we work, and how much more we want to do for second-level students.

So you’re the President?

Yes, as voted at the AGM or General Assembly of 2014, students from across the country representing schools nationwide came together and voted for me to lead the national student executive of ISSU, however on April 1st; your student council is invited to take part in electing a new leadership!

How do we work with decision makers?

We have regular meetings with Government Departments and we are recognised as the official second-level student voice channel in the republic of Ireland, so once your views reach our base – you’re being represented on a national level! For example; we are the student voice on the JCSA Reforms, meaning we’ve met with Oireachtas Joint Committees and engaged in national radio debates with different stakeholder leaders such as teachers unions etc.

Is Student Voice Important to us?

100%! All of our student executive officers are passionate about student voice and joined ISSU because they want to have our students voices heard loud and clear on issues that matter to them. Student Voice is what ISSU is all about; and the more students we have united – the stronger we are.

What about us?

This is exactly what we want 2015 to be about. We want to engage more with our grass root members and bring our ideas to you, just as much as you bring your ideas to us. Not only can you run for an ISSU National Executive position, but later this year we plan to re-launch our regional councils and make all of our campaigns grass root friendly. So the best way to become active is to become a member, sign up to our newsletter and keep an eye out on our social media pages for ways to improve student voice in your school. Have the voices of students you represent represented on a national level!

So, enough talking – what’s the plan?

Our goals for this year focus on the following topics;

  • Education Reform
  • LGBT Mental Health
  • Gathering Student Voice on Gaeilge
  • Assisting with improving Student Voice in Student Councils
  • Voting at 16!

We’ve put together some solid ideas for you so we’d highly encourage you to read our blog posts and tell us what you think of them. We will be focusing on the Junior Certificate Reform (JCSA) over the coming days so hopefully our words will give you an insight into our stance and views in relation to this!

ISSU is your channel to having your concerns heard on all aspects of your experience within secondary school so contact studentvoice@issu.ie with any thoughts / comments or ideas!

So there you go; the first National Student Executive blog post of 2015! I do hope you are settling back into the swing of your studies and for those sitting exams in the coming weeks, I wish you the very best of luck!

Keep an eye on the ISSU website and our social media pages for news, updates and all things ISSU!

Is mise le meas,

Craig McHugh

ISSU President

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