University of Ulster student David McCann will be on stage later today to accept his degree certificate, but one day he could also be a big player on the political stage.
The Belfast-born politico claims that a career as an elected representative isn’t for him, but his enthusiasm for the subject is clearly evident during his three years studying politics at the Jordanstown campus.
During his time there he, and a group of fellow students set up a political society which organised a ‘Question Time style’ debating session with leading local politicians, David also played a part in establishing a Fianna FÃ¡il society.
“I really enjoyed the course – we had a great class and lecturers who were very engaging but also down-to-earth,” he said.
“In March 2009 together with six other students we formed the Student Politics Society. We wanted to organise events and debate issues to really make politics come to life. And the first event we held was very successful. We managed to secure representatives from each political party in Northern Ireland including Mitchell McLaughlin, Anna Lo and Dawn Purvis.
“After that we organised lower key events which usually took the form of pub crawls but in my defence it was difficult in our busy third year to find the time for bigger events. But I’m pleased to say that a new committee has taken over the society and so it will continue next year and no doubt be bigger and better.”
David is an ardent Fianna FÃ¡il supporter and may study Irish politics more in-depth next year in Dublin. “I studied a range of political systems across the world during my degree including the UK but my favourite is the Republic of Ireland,” he said.
“I have a conditional offer from UCD for a Masters and one of the Professors at Jordanstown has said that I should look into studying a PhD, there may also be some job opportunities in London - so I have a few things to think about at the moment which is great. I definitely want a career in politics - I’m not sure yet what form that will take, I think I’m better behind the scenes, but who knows.”
Course Director Carmel Roulston said: “There are some outstanding students in our graduating class of 2010 and David is one of our best students ever. He is interested in everything to do with politics and works hard at every topic. The politics discussion society proved to be a great resource for the students. They were able to share ideas and learn from each other and this helped to improve the performance overall.”