Elections for the team of Campaign Co-ordinators were held prior to the final SU Council meeting on Monday 23rd April.
First year sociology student, Adrasteia Hughes was elected as LGBTQ+ Co-ordinator, beating current co-ordinator Megan Cassidy. Hughes expressed an interest in running a drag competition similar to the one run by DCUSU, and a workshop on Grindr safety.
International student, Andrew Grossen was elected as International Student Co-ordinator. Having worked as a global guide in the International office, Grossen said he “knows the challenges international students face.” Wanting to bring the union back to students, with a focus on international students, Grossen was voted in over former UCDSU presidential candidate, Rosaleen Aljohmani.
First year student Jade Wilson was elected as Gender and Equality Officer for the new academic year. Wilson stated her work on video campaigns will be used in her campaign to eradicate misogyny in everyday language. Wilson would also like to run workshops that promote women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) industries. Wilson was elected over the current auditor for UCD for Choice, Aoife Gray.
In one of the most contested positions on the campaigns forum, with six candidates, Sadhbh O’Flaherty, a 1st year physiotherapy student, was elected as Mental Health Co-ordinator. She expressed a desire to distribute contact information of mental health services available to students in Orientation Week, with the aim of answering the “Who, Where, When questions” students might have. She also wants to run an awareness campaign on “lesser known mental illnesses” in the coming year.
Another highly contested race was for the role of Environmental Co-ordinator. Again, six candidates ran for the position, with History and Politics & International Relations student, Katie O’Dea being elected to the role. O’Dea expressed her wishes to provide more recycling bins across campus and to sell lunchboxes in the SU shops.
Running uncontested for the role of Disability Rights Co-ordinator, Una Carroll was elected to the position.
Two positions had no candidates prior to the final council meeting: Mature Student’s Co-ordinator and Res Student’s Co-ordinator. Former UCDSU Education Officer candidate, Christine Browne nominated herself for the position of Res Student’s Co-ordinator. Having easily received a 2nd and 3rd nomination from council members present, Browne was elected to the position. The role of Mature Student’s Co-ordinator remains vacant.
Incoming Campaign and Communication Officer, Thomas Monaghan, congratulated all successful candidates and expressed a desire to meet with them over the summer, to discuss the year ahead.
During the council meeting, several mandates were passed. Among those passed, Council mandated that the Welfare Officer includes material on UCD’s Dignity & Respect Policy on the SU website and publicises the method of lodging a formal complaint. Council also mandated that in addition to the Safe-talk and Assist training executive officers and campaign co-ordinators receive, they must also receive Diversity and Inclusion and LGBTQ+training. This training must also be provided for the class reps, however class reps cannot be mandated to undergo the training.
Concerns were raised that minutes from the previous council meeting were submitted at 4.30 pm on the day of council. Council minutes remain unpublished on the SU website.
Council voted to mandate UCDSU president Barry Murphy to lobby UCD president Andrew Deeks for a closure of UCD on May 25th to facilitate voting in the referendum on the 8th Amendment. This mandate was unanimously passed through council.
Communications Director of the ‘Savethe8th’ campaign, John McGuirk, soon tweeted a picture of a press release in response to the mandate passed, stating: “We’ve just put out a statement about Students Unions asking the public to treat them like some kind of special case again. If they want to be treated like adults, they should act like adults.”
The press release from the Save the 8th campaign said, “Student’s do not deserve special treatment…This is another example of the State being asked to bend over backwards to, in essence, facilitate a YES vote.” The full press release can be seen below.