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Graduation a milestone for UCSA president

23 August 2022

Politics and social connections have played a big role in Pierce Crowley’s experience at the University of Canterbury so far.


UCSA President Pierce Crowley says serving on executive committees has helped him learn professional skills in financial management, public speaking and governance.

The University of Canterbury Students’ Association (UCSA) President will celebrate graduating with a Law degree on 30 August and plans to complete his Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Political Science with a minor in History, next year.

He’s excited about graduating with what he describes as his “core degree”, a Bachelor of Laws. “Most of my friends started studying Law at the same time as me, so I’m looking forward to celebrating the occasion with them. I’m also really happy that I’ll have my family there with me.”

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Originally from Ireland, Pierce moved to Christchurch in 2006 with his family as a nine-year-old and started studying at the University of Canterbury (UC) in 2016 after leaving Riccarton High School.

He has been active in the University’s clubs and was President of UC Pols (Political Science Society).

“I’ve really enjoyed the student community at UC and being able to immerse myself in many different sub-groups and sub-cultures. The clubs scene is very engaging at UC, it’s a great way to get involved and meet people,” he says.

Being UCSA President and serving on executive committees has also helped him learn professional skills in financial management, public speaking and governance, and helped him develop personal resilience, he says.

“My experience at the UCSA has really brought together all of the experiences I’ve had at the University of Canterbury in such a unique way.”

Pierce has also faced challenges along the way and took a year off from studying in 2017 and worked part-time for events company Vbase (now Venues Ōtautahi).

“I found that I had been overwhelmed by the transition from high school to university in my first year, and taking a break was a decision with wellbeing at its core. Ultimately, it allowed me to mature as a person and return to my studies with a new found passion.”

He hopes eventually to pursue a career that uses his Law degree and is interested in working in advocacy for a community organisation or a role relating to human rights or employment law. He volunteered at the Community Law Centre while studying.

Pierce is passionate about history and is also studying towards a Certificate of Languages in Te Reo Māori as part of his BA. He says his interests dovetail with his various courses and he has particularly enjoyed learning about political history.

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