Zoe Louise Cummins is a second year Physics student in Trinity College with dreams of specialising in Energy Science. Zoe has been a hugely proactive and busy Class Representative since going to college and as a Student Trainer wants to bring her passion for student engagement to others!
Zoe, tell us a bit about yourself!
Hiya! I’m Zoe and I hail from a little seaside town named Arklow in the garden county of Wicklow. I’m in my second year of studying physics at Trinity, I promise it’s not as gross as it sounds. In a perfect world I’d go on to specialise in Astrophysics and Physics at the end of this year and then do a Masters in Energy Science. After that I’m not really sure. I’ll hope that student engagement is something I stay involved with for as long as possible!
So how did your passion for student engagement happen?
I was a class rep during my first year and I absolutely loved it. From organising class hoodies and nights out to sitting on committees with the Head of my school where I was viewed as an equal. At times it was challenging but the resources available to me like the Education Officer and School Administrator were always there to answer any questions. It was a lot of work but it was so beneficial not only to my classmates but myself. Throughout my year I noticed some classes whose reps were not engaged with the SU, their school and even their college. It was because of that I decided to apply for NStEP, to play my part in ensuring that class reps are informed, prepared and engaged within their role.
Why do you feel that the role of the Class Rep is so important?
Now more than ever, students are facing issue after issue in regards to Higher Education. Whether it be access to college, fees or accommodation students are dealing with these issues every day. The first point of communication for a student to voice concerns to is their representative. Empowering these representatives and showing them the importance of student engagement is the first step to making sure students are heard.
Apart from your role as a Class Rep and as an NStEP Student Trainer, what else keeps you busy?
I’m involved with my college student union as a school convenor, acting as a liaison between reps and staff. I’m also involved with the Welfare and Education committees. I’m an Action Panel member for SpunOut.ie which is an amazing resource for young people from ages 16-25. When I’m not volunteering with those groups I try and find time to read, sing and spend time with family and friends.