Union of Students of Ireland (USI) president, Gary Redmond, has announced his intention to campaign for re-election for next term.
Redmond claims that he has unfinished business as USI President, and told The University Observer: “The citizens support act is something I have lobbied for, for an awful long time, it has just been passed and obviously I’d like to be involved with the implementation of that.” He also played a part in backing the Student Support Bill, which was signed into law last month.
Redmond also believes that USI would benefit from having the same president for two years, arguing that “when you run again you have the whole summer to get a lot of work done that you wouldn’t normally be able to do because obviously you’re coming in, getting trained and finding the ropes.”
When asked if he saw a future career for himself in politics, Redmond stated that if he is re-elected, this will be his last year in student politics and that he intends to return to UCD, finish his degree and “get a job in the real world”.
Having being heavily involved with the student protest march that took place in November, Redmond has fought against the re-introduction of third-level fees using the slogan ‘Education Not Emigration’ for the campaign. Redmond said that when he completes his degree, “unfortunately like everyone else that may mean that I’ll have to emigrate because of the economic climate at the moment”.
Redmond said that he couldn’t completely isolate one single achievement of his tenure as USI President thus far as having been his best achievement. He referred to the student protest in October, which attracted over 40,000 students, as one of USI’s bigger accomplishments. Yet he mentioned that the success of that was down to their improved profile within colleges and universities.
“Obviously we completely changed the profile of USI this year. It’s much better known on campus,” said Redmond. “We have a media profile this year worth millions of euro and certainly USI is more active this year and much more out there. I don’t think there’s any single greatest accomplishment, I thinks it’s such a varied role that you’re doing different things from day to day trying to push items on the agenda as well.”
During his time in UCD, Redmond has been station manager of Belfield FM; events manager for SU, SU Entertainment’s Vice-President and last year was SU President. If elected this will be Redmond’s fifth year on sabbatical from his Computer Science degree.