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Welcome to Mary I Students' Union
Giving you a voice, helping you to use it
Enriching your college experience!

Welcome to the Welfare section of MISU

Here you will find all the information you need to look after yourself while at Mary I

 

SEX!

In the words of Jay Leno: “For the first time in history sex is more dangerous than the cigarette afterwards.” He raises a good point!  So if you are considering getting it on at some stage then pay attention or you might find yourself in STI-land faster than you can say, syphilis.

Sex might be a two way operation but it really calls for each individual to make their own decisions before getting under the covers. No one can tell you what to do; you are the only one that can decide what is right for you. Whatever you decide, stick to your guns and respect the decisions others make too.

If you are having sex, be smart about it, protect yourself. You wouldn’t go out in the rain without a coat so why have sex without protection - and by the sounds of it having a head cold beats having chlamydia.

There are many forms of contraception but like any form of medical intake, everyone is different so just because your friend uses one form it doesn’t mean it will suit you.

There’s a lot of choices out there for you:

Condom, The Pill, The Mini Pill, Diaphragm, Coil, Injectable, Natural, Patch, Female Condom, Implant, Intrauterine System (IUS), Morning After Pill

Information on all can be sought from the medical centre here on campus or on www.thinkcontraception.ie

 

STI’s

Sexually Transmitted Infections are on the increase year in year out.  Student populations are particularly prone to STI’s.

There are oodles of infections you can get such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Genital Warts, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Pubic Lice (Crabs), Thrush, Trichomonas, Vaginalis  - wait, there’s more - Molluscum Contagiosum, Syphilis, Scabies, Hepatitis B, Bacterial Vaginosis, HIV and AIDS , Herpes, Hepatitis A, oh yes, and a whole host of non-specific infections!

We aren’t doctors by any means so if you even think you might have an STI then go to the doctor or to the STI Clinic. The most common signs that you might have an STI are:

  • Unusual discharge from penis or vagina
  • Pain when peeing
  • Unusual sores or blisters in the genital area
  • Itching or irritation in the genital area
  • Pain during sex

 

Remember that some STIs show no visible symptoms.  You won’t always know if you need a check-up.

If you are sexually active and you or your partner might be having sex with someone else you should plan to have a check up every 6-12 months.

If you’re going to an STI Clinic here’s a heads up on what to expect:

  • If you’re a guy - You will be asked not to urinate for at least four hours before your appointment and may have a throat swab, penis swab and anal swab.
  • If you’re a girl - You may have a throat swab, vaginal swab and a cervical swab.

Our local STI/GUM Clinic is in the regional hospital.  Phone 061-482382 for an appointment.  Don’t worry this service is free and 100% confidential.

P.s. Embarrassment is for the embarrassed, not for the person who chooses to be smart about looking after themselves in terms of sexual activity. NEVER be embarrassed about getting checked – EVER!

At the end of the day, you have to look after yourself because no-body else will do it for ya!

 

Please check out www.yoursexualhealth.ie for a more comprehensive guide to STI’s and their symptoms.

 

Limerick is a young vibrant city with over 20,000 students just like you.  Saying that you still have to have your wits about you and keep safe at all times, regardless of what city you’re in.

 

10 Ways to Stay Safe When You’re Out And About (especially alone)

  1. If walking, use busy routes that are well lit and keep away from dark alleys or roads that look a bit dodgy.
  2. Always tell someone where you are off to and it’s no harm to give them a quick ring to say you got there safely.
  3. When unsure of your surroundings or feeling unsafe walk facing traffic so that cars can’t pull up on you from behind.
  4. Don’t be flaunting your iPhone or fancy jewellery because it may attract muggers.
  5. Don’t have a full wallet with you because if you’re ever mugged all your cash and cards will be stolen.
  6. If you’re going somewhere and think you’re being followed, get to the nearest place with people, if you still feel unsafe then ring the guards.  Henry Street Garda Station phone number is 061-202400.
  7. If you are a victim of assault (physical or sexual) there’s help there for you 24/7. Please contact the Gardaí immediately, 061-202400.  By reporting it, you’re preventing the attacker from reoffending.
  8. Try your hardest not to travel alone at night.  It’s true what they say there’s safety in numbers whether that’s on foot or in a taxi. If there’s no other option but to go on your own make the shortest but safest journey you can.
  9. If you have been beaten up, go to the hospital and call the guards to report it. You’re a fool if you don’t because the assaulter roams free and will strike again. If you can’t face the guards, talk to someone in Chaplaincy or a counsellor. If you can’t do it right away just remember there’s always someone to talk about what happened. If you decide you want to talk to someone at a later stage, don’t hesitate to contact the services.
  10. If you’re unable to attend college as a result of injuries, you should contact your lecturers.  Lee , the MISU Vice President /Education Officer, can help you do this if you like. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Staying Safe on the Roads

 

Driving

  • Don’t ever take alcohol and/or drugs and drive. You are putting both your life and the lives of others in danger.
  • Don’t text or talk on the phone while driving. You’ve seen the ads, you know what can happen.
  • Watch out for cyclists and pedestrians, especially at night time when they may not be wearing high-viz clothes.
  • If you’re feeling sleepy pull in and have a nap, then drive. If you fall asleep at the wheel it’s not going to end happily.
  • When parking, avoid isolated or darkened areas. Use somewhere that’s well-lit at night.

 

Cycling

  • Always wear a helmet. It could be the difference between life and death.
  • Make sure all your reflectors work and that you also wear reflective clothing when cycling.

 

Walking

  • Walk on the path or if there is none, at the edge of the road and against traffic.
  • Make sure to wear a reflector or high-viz clothing, especially at night time.

 

Keeping Your Stuff Safe

Car

  • Don’t leave anything valuable in your car. If you have to, put it in the boot. 
  • Leave the glove box open and empty to deter thieves.
  • Don’t leave any important documents in your vehicle such as your licence, insurance certs etc.
  • Make sure your car has a good alarm system or immobiliser.  Steering wheel locks are also a pretty good deterrent if you have none of the above.

 

Bike

  • When you buy a bike, make sure you get a receipt showing the name and address of the seller/trader, together with the make, model, colour and frame number of your bike. Retain this receipt for future reference.
  • If leaving it unattended, secure your bike by using a good quality-lock.
  • Leave your bike in a secure area so it is difficult to steal without being noticed.
  • Take a photo of your bike so you can show it to the guards if it is stolen. There’s also no harm engraving a number into the frame which would help you identify it if it’s found.

 

Safety at your accommodation

Burglary Prevention:

Most day-time burglaries take place in unoccupied homes. Use the following tips to help prevent a burglary:

  • Ensure your apartment and house doors are locked at all times. When vacating your apartment, check to ensure that all windows are locked.
  • Never give your apartment keys to anyone else and do not leave your keys where others could have access to them.
  • Before you admit any callers to your apartment, ensure you are satisfied with their identity – ask for identification if in doubt.
  • Inform a trusted neighbour if you are going away.
  • Don’t show obvious signs of a vacant apartment - curtains drawn during daylight hours etc.
  • Keep bank cards, credit cards, passports and other items of value in a safe place. Keep photographic records where necessary.
  • Do not leave loose cash at home.

 

Fire Safety Tips

  • Your apartment/house should be fitted with a working smoke detector already.  If not get smoke alarms, and test them regularly. €15 is a small price to pay to protect yourself.
  • Put the smoke detector somewhere it can be heard all over the house.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher or a fire blanket in the kitchen.
  • Make sure all electrical appliances, sockets and leads are in good working order.
  • Do not overload sockets.
  • Do not use a chip pan, they’re too dangerous.  Buy a proper deep fat fryer, they are pretty cheap nowadays.
  • Check that the cooker/hob is off and always put out an open fire before you go to bed.
  • With an open fire, always use a fireguard and ensure the room is well ventilated.
  • Plug out all appliances (especially the TV and hair straighteners) before you go out or go to bed.
  • Smokers - use proper ashtrays and do not smoke in bed.
  • Keep heaters away from furniture and curtains and don’t move them when they’re turned on. Make sure there’s good ventilation in the rooms where you use them.
  • Roll, don’t fold, an electric blanket if you’re storing it.
  • Have an escape plan. Know the best way for you and your housemates to get out if you have to.

“I can’t graduate coz I was acting the maggot”

Although being a student gives you a sense of invincibility the reality is you are still a human who must abide by all the rules and regulations of society. Quite unfortunate we know, but such is life and there is nothing fun about being arrested.

Here is what you need to know so you don’t get arrested and end up not being allowed to graduate which is technically what you are here for in the first place.

There is a list of things not to do under the Public Order Act. To put it simply, use your common sense. Some of the things which you can be arrested for include;

  • Being intoxicated in a public place
  • Excessive noise
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Possession of illegal substances

Most importantly, if you get a criminal record you cannot be a teacher or take up other public jobs.

That’s the law bit over with but what is REALLY important to remember is that although the craic is ninety when everyone is out mid-week, there are still tons of people living in the city and surrounding areas who have a real job to get up to in the morning. To disturb them or their property is not only unacceptable on a legal level (they have every right to call the guards) but it’s not ok on a social level. College may be a laugh but remember, you are also deemed a responsible adult by society at this point so act like one.

Our neighbours here are pretty cool. You have to hand it to them, we are not mice and they are usually much more accepting of our boisterous antics than they have to be, so appreciate that.

Finally, if you are reported for unruly behaviour outside of the college grounds, it CAN still affect your degree. Fact! It is considered as bringing the college into disrepute. So the next time in the wee hours of the morning when you’re walking home (even though the SU have told you to get a taxi) and one of your buddies looks at you with that look of devilment and says “Will we…for the laugh?” … just think about it.

Also, the SU has a Personal Accident Insurance policy. It covers all full time students 24/7 so if you ever need to avail of it just call into the office!

 

 

Click HERE to get some useful information including the opening times for the Bank of Ireland, Mary I Branch.

 

Student Finance

The Student Grant is the main source of financial assistance and anyone who is thinking of embarking on further study should investigate whether they are eligible.  The Student Grant section of www.studentfinance.ie is the most comprehensive source of information on the available schemes that you will find anywhere in Ireland. It provides a handy step-by-step guide to eligibility in clear, plain English

 

Rates of the Maintenance Grant for the Financial Year 2014

Levels of Grant

 Non-adjacent Rate 

 Adjacent Rate 

 Student Contribution Paid? 

Special rate of maintenance grant

5,915

2,375

?

Standard rate-100% maintenance

3,025

1,215

?

Standard rate-75% maintenance

2,270

910

?

Standard rate-50% maintenance

1,515

605

?

Standard rate-25% maintenance

755

305

?

Students who live (your home house, not your student house) within 45km of Mary I receive the adjacent grant.  The non- adjacent rate applies to everyone else.

 

Stuff to Remember

You should budget your money around the times your grant comes through although you can expect delays at the best of times. If you are concerned about your grant or have any major issues please contact the MIC Grants Office on 061-204909 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We would also encourage any student who comes under severe financial hardship while in college to make contact with a member of the SU or Maura Moore in the Access Office. We cannot perform miracles but it doesn’t mean we won’t try. You can contact Maura Moore (Access & Disability Officer) on 061-204927 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.