Profile and analysis by Killian Woods

As in 2008, the race to become the Students’ Union’s Ents Officer has thrown up just one candidate willing to brave the election gauntlet.

Many will know him as the SU Arts Programme Officer; others will recognise him from Arts Soc; some of you (according to our survey in the last issue) think that he already is the acting Ents Officer. Jonny Cosgrove is the sole candidate this year, and although he is well aware that the infamous RON option is always lurking and ready to pounce on any major slip-up, Cosgrove looks a confident figure ready to step into a position that he has been groomed for.

Seeing his fellow students entertained is something that Cosgrove says he lives for, and the experience he has in this aspect of student life speaks for itself. Name a nightclub promotion for UCD students in the last three years and Jonny Cosgrove has more than likely been involved one way or another.

The token phrases regurgitated by Ents candidates year after year (“taking Ents to the next level” and “putting my own spin on things” being two staples) appear in Cosgrove’s interview, though you can expect his tenure to be anything but predictable. Cosgrove admits that he tends to “jump from idea to idea” – and although he concedes that this could be a weak aspect of his personality, it could keep Ents fresh and flowing.

The current Arts Programme officer is very clear on certain areas of Ents that he feels need improving – chief among them the Ents website, which he feels “has to exist properly, rather than just being a ticket website.” He continues: “I want to make a one stop, must stop site for students to find what’s going on.”

Cosgrove places huge emphasis on Ents’ ability to reach out to the average UCD student and his plans not to advertise Ents events with just a few posters or a brief text: “One aspect of my manifesto was about Ents being interactive. One idea floating around is, instead of having posters, you would have digital displays around campus. This would save the Union money and much more creativity could be put into advertising.” Even small gimmicks like applications for Facebook and the iPhone and Blackberry platforms could be a possibility, according to Cosgrove, who seems intent on pulling out all the stops to raise awareness of UCD Ents.

One detail that Cosgrove is keen to deviate from is the alcohol aspect of college entertainment. Cosgrove maintains that college entertainment “is not about getting drunk, it’s about enjoying the process”, and his main thought process revolves around getting “the bar back up and running properly” again. “If we bring in on Thursday evening €3.50 for a pint and a €5 cover charge to get in, I would much rather see students stay in and have the craic with their friends campus than in town.”

Another ambitious plan from Cosgrove could see UCD have a campus-based nightclub, though the enthusiastic idea of having the venue running seven nights a week may be a step to far for Cosgrove. However, should the nightclub become a real possibility, “Ents nightclub will come first and foremost” ahead of current events such as Thirsty Thursdays in Club XXI and Dirty Disco in Dtwo in terms of promotional scale.

One great pity about this year’s Ents election race is the lack of candidates vying for the position. Competition between candidates usually perks interest in all five races amongst the electorate, and one might only hope that Jonny devotes the same traditional intensity and drive to his Ents campaign as all contested candidates would.