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Student activist graduates to campaigning position

By Stephen McVey

The former Vice President for Welfare at Queen’s Students Union has told of his sadness at leaving the post after two years. Adam McGibbon has said he is proud of the contribution he has made towards student welfare during his time in the union, and of his plans for the future following six years of study and work at the South Belfast university.

“I’m sad to move on. Not only is this the end of my two years as Vice President, it’s also the end of six wonderful years at QUB,” he said.

“I am so full of happy memories of great experiences and amazing friends. I’ve learnt so much about campaigning, lobbying and advice provision. It’s been a privilege to represent the students of Queen’s.”

The role Adam vacated last week involves advising, representing and campaigning for students on all areas of welfare, from safety in student digs, to financial issues for undergrads. However, Adam’s new career as a campaigner and lobbyist is just beginning thanks to a new role working for the welfare of the homeless.

“I’ve just been appointed to the board of Shelter NI, the housing and homelessness charity, so I’m excited about that,” he continued. Earlier this year, Adam got a taste of the realities of homelessness, spending a night on the streets to raise money and awareness for the issue.

“I have many plans – I want to work in sustainable development charities, campaigning organizations, trade union s- anything that will let me campaign on issues I care about and push boundaries,” he continued.

Meanwhile, Adam said his involvement in the successful campaign to freeze university tuition fees in Northern Ireland and stop £40 million in education cuts, was a highlight of his term in charge. He had some parting words of wisdom for his successor, Joanne O’Neill, who took office on the July 1, ahead of the new term in the autumn.

“Pick a couple of issues that you are most passionate about and work on them using everything you have at your disposal,” he added.

“Try to find something achievable that won’t just be good when you’re around, but will still benefit the students when you’re gone. Most importantly, work hard and play hard.”


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