Mountrath Community School Transition Year student Courtney Chambers has been elected as the Laois-Offaly Regional Officer for the Irish Second Level Students Union.
The Irish Second Level Students Union is the representative body for second-level students in the Republic of Ireland.
Each year, the ISSU elects a Regional Officer from each region. There are 22 regions in Ireland, and our region is Laois Offaly.
The elections took place on November 18 at the ISSU Laois Offaly Regional Councils, which were held virtually due to covid.
At this event there were two representatives from each school in Laois and Offaly. Three students nominated themselves for elections.
Each candidate had to make a one minute speech, and all attendees got the opportunity to vote. Courtney will now represent, uplift and defend student voice in the region.
She now has the responsibility for organising student council cluster meetings once a month, this is where the chairperson of each student council in the Laois Offaly region meet together to discuss local issues for students.
It is her responsibility to promote the work of the ISSU in the and to increase school membership of the ISSU.
Schools can opt to be a member of the union, and must abide by their policies. Mountrath Community school is a member. There are 500 member schools in Ireland of the ISSU.
All issues and consultations that Courtney receives from students travel through her to the ISSU’s National Student Executives.
These students lead the National Campaigns and execute the work the Union undertakes.
For Courtney, her role is a very important role as student voice in the Laois Offaly region is often excluded from national campaigns, and instead, is more concentrated in cities such as Dublin or Cork.
Often, ISSU meetings are held in Liberty Hall in Dublin, which isn’t feasible for a lot of students in the region to attend.
For this reason, Students in the region are often “turned off” nominating themselves for ISSU positions.
It is Courtney’s ultimate goal to establish a meeting quarters in the Laois Offaly Region, so that the region doesn’t get left behind when it comes to student consultation.
The predecessor of this position was Reuban Murray, a past student of Mountrath Community School. Reuban then went on to become president of the ISSU, and led all elected officers through campaigns last year.
Courtney will meet with Reuban next week for advice on her new role and to transfer ongoing campaigns.
Her term officially starts in January. On January 15 and 16, Courtney will be meeting with the other Regional Officer Elects from across Ireland. They will undergo a two-day training in Dublin City in which our travel, food and accommodation will be covered for this period.
As the Chairperson of the Student Council at Mountrath, Courtney was delighted to attend the Regional Councils alongside the Second Year rep Ryan Collins. She was even more delighted to be elected.