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‘I want to make a difference’

Last update - Thursday, May 6, 2010, 13:56 By Catherine Reilly

Nigerian student elected SU president at Dublin college

A YOUNG NIGERIAN woman has been elected president of the students’ union (SU) at her Dublin college.
Mayowa Soyingbe, 20, who is originally from Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos and has been living in Ireland for eight years, said she hopes her tenure as SU president at the National College of Ireland will make the union “a place where everyone can come”.
“People were telling me to go for it,” said Soyingbe of her decision to run, “and I did want to make a difference.”
The Nigerian woman added that she’d received good feedback during her campaign, and was assisted by a support team of people of various nationalities, mostly Irish.
Soyingbe, who is completing a degree in human resource management, described the union as prone to “cliques”, but underlined that the SU is “for everyone” and needn’t be “the same clique of people going to the same events”.
She said going straight home after lectures “isn’t student life” but is something many students have fallen into.
Soyingbe said other priorities include ensuring that education grants are paid to students “on time” and pressing for the introduction of a mentoring system at the college, whereby lecturers are assigned a certain amount of students who they specifically lend extra encouragement to.
She added that continuous assessment should be available to students of all courses.
The student leader, who is a former pupil of St Columba’s in Rathfarnham, will commence her role in early July.
Noting the “challenges” ahead, Soyingbe nevertheless concluded: “It should be grand.”
With a campus in the Irish Financial Services Centre, the National College of Ireland has around 5,000 full and part-time students, and over 130 full-time and 220 part-time staff.

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