UCD Students’ Union President, Gary Redmond, has announced his intention to run for the presidency of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) later this year.

If elected, Redmond will be the first UCD student to hold the position since Tom Duke in 1993-94.

Speaking to The University Observer Redmond stated that his year as president of UCDSU had inspired him to “make changes on a national level” and motivated the decision to run for USI.

Redmond spoke of how he had enjoyed the work he had been doing this year on several levels, explaining that “as the president of the Union I’ve managed to achieve a lot, and make changes that I hope have been able to effect change in the average student’s life in UCD.”

If elected, Redmond plans to prioritise a national campaign on a “radical overhaul of the grants system”, which he feels would greatly benefit current and future third-level students. He has also expressed plans to “continue the work we have done this year as a national union, and through all of my various colleagues across the country, in the fight against fees and the registration fee.”

Elections for the presidency take place at the USI’s Annual Congress, where delegates from affiliated Students’ Unions around the country elect members of USI’s officer board as well as debate motions on general union policy. Larger students’ unions, such as UCDSU, are permitted to send more delegates than smaller ones, thus enabling them to cast more votes.

As the president of a USI member union, Redmond is also entitled to nominate members of UCD Students’ Union for election to eight of USI’s eleven officer positions. Redmond has not yet been approached by any other students seeking nomination to the board, but added that the deadline for submission of nominations did not fall until late February.

Asked whether he had considered making a full-time career in politics, Redmond said he “hadn’t thought about it”, but claimed that the USI position would allow him to pursue his goal “of improving the lives of students all around the country.”