This past spring break, the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) had the opportunity to go to UMass Boston's sister school, the University of Limerick (UL), in Limerick, Ireland.
USG’s goal was to build a better relationship with the university and gain a better understanding of how things are run at another school in another country. USG went for one week, and focused mainly on mental health awareness.
According to UMass Boston's Student Speaker Lucas Henrique, the USG also went to learn more about how their sister school’s undergraduate student government is run, as well as what their version is of what the campus center staff does.
USG took time to learn how the other university runs its programs to see if they can make some changes at UMass Boston. According to Henrique, there are three main officer positions that students can run for at the school: president, academic, and welfare. The elected students take a year off of school or run post-graduation. This system allows the officers to devote all of their time to the well-being of the students.
This system allows the officers more freedom from the administration at their school. The officers also have many benefits, like payment, some get housing, and they get an office space.
Contrary to many universities in the United States, most of UL’s organizations are student run and dictated. A lot more decisions for their USG are independent of the school's administration.
The “campus center” at Limerick has coffee spots, pool tables, hangouts, and even a bar on campus. UMass Boston’s USG got to explore these spots with intentions of getting ideas for UMass Boston, and to get to know how UL operates. All of these spots are run by and for students, which is unique compared to UMass Boston.
UMass Boston students also had a chance to check out schools other than just the UL. They went to Dublin City University, Maynooth University, and St. Mary’s College.
UMass Boston’s USG also did a little bit of exploring. They were able to go to King John’s Castle in Limerick, as well as celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
During that day, USG also witnessed Ireland win a rugby match against England.
“We had a good time and learned a lot about the other schools. It's cool to see that other schools have a lot more freedom from administration,” Henrique stated. UMass Boston’s USG has brought back a lot of great ideas and concepts they would like to work on for the upcoming year.