Hi! I’m Ciara McCumiskey, your Member for Widening Access and Participation!
I have lived in Scotland for pretty much all of my life in the beautiful seaside county of East Lothian just outside of Edinburgh. I was there for 16 years before starting a degree in Chemistry in St Andrews in 2015. Move forward two years and I’m now entering my third year as a Psychology student and I couldn’t be happier in this weird and wonderful town.
Prior to my councils experience, I was one of two Senior Students in Agnes Blackadder Hall for the 16/17 academic year and this was what first gave me insight into the Students’ Association life. Weekly Senior Student’s Forums gave me a platform to interact with Sabbatical Officers and Councillors and really gave me a taste for what it’s all about.
When it comes to Widening Access though, that came from halls itself. Most of the problems I encountered in my time there were engagement issues from shy students and people who felt like they didn’t fit in and I realised that taking this to a greater platform was the only way to go. As someone that came from working class area, I’ve realised how St Andrews can be perceived from the outside and I use my position as a Student Ambassador to destigmatise this as much as possible. Essentially, I just want everyone to realise just how great this town is and to make it as accessible as possible so that everyone has the chance to experience this wonderful university and take advantage of the truly great quality of education that we have here!