Photo Credit: UCD SU WebsiteThe University Observer has learned that Rosaleen Aljohmani, UCDSU College Officer for Arts, Human Sciences, & Celtic Studies, used her official UCDSU title while marketing a payments app to UCD Societies. Aljohmani signed off a marketing email using her UCDSU title and her position as Inclusion Officer for the Literary & Historical Society (L&H), followed by her role as a Student Ambassador for Circle. Circle Student Ambassadors are paid for signing up individuals, clubs, and societies. In the email sent to 90 UCD societies, Aljohmani states that societies could be earning “up to €500” by using the app, Circle. The Circle website states that Circle Student Ambassadors can get “up to €9” for signing people up. However, speaking to the University Observer, a Circle Student Ambassador stated that, in practice, they are paid a portion for the initial sign up and a subsequent €5 when the user exchanges more than €25. Circle Student Ambassadors are also offered “[monthly] giveaways like European flights and festival tickets” as well as the possibility of an “internship at one of the fastest growing companies in FinTech.”
Aljohmani provides a link to “set up your society” and subsequently asks the society to “enter my name: Rosaleen Aljohmani” when asked how they heard about Circle. In an email response to questions, a Circle representative told the University Observer that “[we] encourage Circle ambassadors to put their student responsibilities first.” “As many are heavily involved in societies they have an exhaustive understanding of how inconvenient and unsafe society finances can be.” The representative stated that “15% of our Ambassadors in Ireland are UCD students… we have been delighted to help over 15 clubs and societies [in UCD] so far with their financing and events.” UCDSU President Barry Murphy said that “multiple, long conversations” were had with Aljohmani in relation to her attempts to market Circle to UCDSU and UCD Societies. Murphy also stated that he has been “confident that [Rosaleen Aljohmani] will refrain from dealing with Circle and refrain from using her position as a College Officer and a member of the L&H to further Circle’s campaign roads into gaining use from student societies and class reps that are involved in the Students’ Union.” At the time of publication, Aljohmani’s online profiles state that she has been a Student Ambassador for Circle since 5 September 2017 and that she continues to work with them. At the time of publication, Aljohmani, the L&H, and Criomhthann Morrison, Aljohmani’s fellow Arts College Officer, have not responded to requests for comment.
In the email, Aljohmani says that “what I’ve done, and I’d encourage you to do as well is: do it for an event as they’ll be paying €30 or more for the ticket and therefore they’ve sent over €25 through the app and you get the cash quickly.”