Another day over; the Facebook pages have been launched and first manifestos have started to litter the concourse. Most candidates will have put weeks of thought into designs and photos, well in other years anyway. This year’s design briefs so far seem to have played out something like “I want boxes of two primary colours and a photo of me in front of a notable UCD landmark”. When Th L is covered in manifestos next week, you need something to differentiate yourself. The only exception so far is Cian Dowling; the Welfare candidate has chosen to go with a more ‘interesting’ font across his materials than the others.

Something we always researched when designing materials in campaigns I was involved in was their readability. Certain fonts are considerably easier to read by those suffering from dyslexia etc. The main advice was always to use a sans serif font and avoid writing in block capitals at all costs. Dowling seems to have been utterly unaware of this, writing his entire manifesto in block capitals. Inexcusable when trying to portray yourself as an inclusive Welfare Officer.

Another area that seems to have moved backwards this year is Facebook. Gone are the welcome videos and intuitive tabs of the last few years. Instead we are simply greeted by boring like pages populated by texts and links. If you are proposing to bring a new and fresh approach to the position, it falls flat when your campaign isn’t.

While some candidates have made mistakes with their materials, some don’t have any at all. Aidan Kelly’s designs were rejected by the Returning Officer due to their content. No doubt team Kelly will have a back up plan to bring their candidate to the student body’s attention. If his latest Observer piece is anything to go by though, any materials he does distribute will read like a bastardised medical textbook.

In a departure from previous years, elections for College Convenors will also take place next Wednesday and Thursday. Niall Dunne, the Sociology and Politics student running for Human Science Convenor, has been the first to start distributing his manifestos. A quick glance shows that it’s the usual ‘Give us everything and charge us nothing’ ideas we have come to expect, but one proposal in particular stands out.

Niall proposes the following: “Lobbying the library to extend short term loan times, especially around exams. I will also campaign for the abolition of so called ‘super fines’, this ridiculous practice hits the poorest students hardest”. Fantastic. Essentially now the students unlucky not to get the one copy of the book available will have to buy it if they want it before their exam. This ridiculous practice will eh, hit the poorest students hardest.

Finally attention to detail is something we should value in our candidates. Spelling changes seem to have become a daily activity for candidates this week. Gallagher and Scully, it’s good to see you finally realised it’s spelt ‘implement’ but it remains to be seen if you corrected your printed materials in time.

So far this year’s elections have been unimaginative and dull. The candidates have a weekend to capture the electorate’s attention, otherwise maybe RON should.

Read: UCD Elects: Introduction