The results of the SU executive elections, which took place online from the 30th to the 31st of March, and in-person from the 4th to the 5th of April, were announced by Returning Officer Daryl Horan in the UCD Cinema complex, on Thursday the 6th of April.
All unopposed candidates were duly elected, in most cases by significant margins over the RON vote. As such, Martha Ni Riada will become President of the Student’s Union next year, with Jill Nelis being the Union’s Welfare Officer, Sarah McGrath being Education Officer, and Neo O’Herlihy the Entertainments Officer.
The only incumbent candidate in the race, Marc Matouc, was duly re-elected as Postgraduate Officer for the year ahead. In the only contested race, that of Campaigns and Engagement Officer, Miranda Bauer beat out Ryan Corley to take the position, after a genial and good-spirited election campaign.
Though there was not a sustained RON campaign in this year’s elections, a steady number of roughly 300 votes were cast in the sabbatical elections, with exceptions being in the postgraduate race, which has a smaller electorate, and in the C&E race, which was a competitive election.
Speaking to the University Observer immediately after the result, President-Elect Martha Ni Riada commented on her victory. “I’m delighted, it’s always great to see the students come out and vote in my favour, that’s always something good, I’m really looking forward to the year ahead.” Continuing, Ni Riada stated that “There are lots of big ideas in my manifesto, and I’m really committed to trying to get as many things done as possible in the next year. I feel like I’ve got a good start this year on things, and I want to continue the momentum from [current SU President] Molly, and from previous Presidents, and keep moving the Union in the right direction.”
The elections also carried on the ballot paper two referenda, one being on proposed amendments to the Union’s constitution, and the other being on a motion to rejoin the USI (Union of Students in Ireland), after a 10-year absence. The proposed constitutional changes and the motion to rejoin the USI both garnered a majority of votes, however, as neither reached the quorum of votes required for a valid result, they were rejected.
Asked how she will use her platform as President to increase engagement in light of these elections, Ni Riada stated that “I think it’s incremental, even though they didn’t reach quorum, the amount of people that voted in this year’s elections was nearly double the amount that voted in last year’s elections, so we are increasing engagement, bit by bit.”
A consultative referendum on the Union’s drug policy found that the majority of students are in favour of the decriminalisation of all drugs, and the explicit legalisation of cannabis.
In the College Officer elections, Aoibhinn Brentnall was elected Oifigeach na Gaeilge, Aisling Maloney was elected at Law, Tia Cullen will be the new Health Sciences Officer, and Louise Campbell was elected Arts & Humanities College Officer. At the college of Engineering, Cillian Murphy was elected, while Erin Hoare was elected at Science, and Tara Toye for the Agriculture, Food Science and Vet Science Constituency.
After a competitive three-horse race, Tsz Ching Pang was elected as the Social Science College Officer, on the third count.