RON victory in UCDSU executive elections lead to by-election

Image Credit: Heather Reynolds

UCDSU’s annual Executive elections, which took place on the 30th and 31st of March, saw students vote to Re-Open Nominations(RON) in all uncontested races. By-elections for all positions where students voted to Re-Open Nominations will be held on the 20th and 21st of this month.

This unprecedented result follows a social media campaign spearheaded by the anonymous UCD Confessions page on Instagram, which called for a RON vote in all races to express dissatisfaction with the lack of candidates, as well as with UCDSU more generally.

In posts explaining their reasons for a RON vote, the page made several misleading or untrue statements to their 18.6 thousand followers, including an assertion that UCDSU had "promised microwaves in every building". When asked which of the outgoing sabbatical officers had promised microwaves in every building in the comments to their post, the page’s administrator stated that the comment had been made to them by UCDSU president Ruairí Power, but that he “Didn’t promise ALL buildings”.

The sole contested sabbatical officer race, that of Education Officer, saw Darragh Kane O’Toole eliminated on the first count with 424 votes to Martha Ní Riada’s 690 and RON’s 630. After the second count, Ní Riada was declared the winner with 749 votes to RON’s 642.

In the non-sabbatical executive elections, Robin Jowett won the position of Law College officer with 98 votes, beating Aisling Maloney, who finished with 62 votes. Ron received just 34 votes in this race. The race for Science College officer was won by uncontested candidate Ryan Corley with 207 votes to RON’s 200.

In the uncontested races, current Welfare Officer Molly Greenough lost the Presidency with 824 votes to RON’s 887, Robyn O’Keefe lost the Campaigns and Engagement Officer race with 815 votes to RON’s 870, Míde Nic Fhionnlaoich lost the Welfare Race with 826 votes to RON’s 862, and Ciara Moroney lost Entertainments Officer Race with 840 votes to RON’s 846.

None of the other positions had valid candidates, meaning that the sabbatical role of Graduate Officer, all college officer positions save for Law and Science, and the position of Irish Language Officer also saw nominations re-open by default.

Nominations closed on Sunday, April 10th, with candidates for all but two college officer positions, and contested races for three of the five remaining sabbatical positions. All candidates beaten by RON in the first round of elections have re-entered the race, with defeated Education Officer candidate Darragh Kane O’Toole now running against Míde Nic Fhionnlaoich for the Position of Welfare Officer. Eoin Fagan is now competing with Robyn O’Keeffe for the role of Campaigns and Engagement, and the role of Graduate Officer, which had no candidates at the time of the executive elections, now has three candidates: Marc Matouc, Matt Amenda, and Amit Wasnik. Molly Greenough is running unopposed for President, and Ciara Moroney is running unopposed for the role of Entertainments Officer.

For the position of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences College Officer, Caillum Hedderman, Roisin Alff, and Rachel Toal are competing for two seats. Sarah McGrath and Rhys Scully are competing for the Health Science College Officer seat, and Hannah Tilly is running unopposed for the role of Agriculture College Officer. Shane Mac Amhlaoibh is the sole candidate for Irish Language Officer. Both Business and Engineering have no valid candidates.