UCD Students' Union elections: Sabbatical positions filled, USI referendum defeated

In photo: Conor Viscardi making his acceptance speech after being elected as Students' Union President. Photo credit: Megan Fanning

UCD Students' Union elections concluded today with all sabbatical and College Officer positions being filled, except Campaigns and Communications, which is currently undergoing a recount. Vote counting also saw the referendum on rejoining the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) being defeated by a landslide of 74 per cent to 26 per cent.This year's Students' Union elections saw one contested sabbatical position race, that of Campaigns and Communications Officer. The rest were uncontested. Conor Viscardi has been elected President, Lexi Kilmartin as Education Officer, Roisin O'Mara as Welfare Officer and Cian Casey as Graduate Officer. A recount is currently ongoing for Campaigns and Communcations Officer after the second count earlier this evening, which saw 1,257 votes for Luke Fitzpatrick and 1,157 for Ryan Oakes. Oakes requested a recount after the announcement, with the result expected to come in later tonight. Sam Blanckensee, the third candidate in the C&C race, was eliminated earlier this evening, with his votes redistributed between the remaining candidates.In the uncontested races of President, Education, Welfare and Graduate, there was a high percentage of RON (re-open nominations) votes, most notably for Viscardi, who received 2,000 votes in comparison to 825 voters opting for RON. This brought the RON vote for the Presidential position to 29 per cent. The Welfare position saw the lowest RON vote at 15 per cent, followed by 17 per cent for Education and 23 per cent for Graduate.All College Officer positions were also filled today. Joseph Millerick was declared Agriculture and Veterinary Officer over Vicki Banach on the first count, with 304 votes to 148. Francis Roche was elected Arts and Human Sciences Officer on the first count, followed by Liam Brady after transfers in the two-seat constituency. Jonathan Byrne was elected College Officer for Business and Law in an uncontested race, with Lida O'Shea triumphing over Joshua Gorman Climax in Engineering and Architecture with 184 votes to 94. Rebecca Hart was elected Health Sciences Officer in the uncontested race, with Sean Kilgarriff winning a significant majority in Science after transfers, with 284 votes - 49 per cent of the votes cast. Eoghan Mac Domhnaill was declared Irish Officer, having received 2,309 votes in another uncontested race.A referendum was also put to students on whether or not UCD Students' Union should rejoin the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) after they left in 2013. The referendum, which was called as a result of a student petition that was brought directly past the SU and straight to the Returning Officer, was ultimately strongly defeated. 761 'Yes' votes were cast, in comparison to 2,161 'No' votes, or 74 per cent to 26 per cent.This means that UCDSU will likely remain unaffiliated to USI for at least another four years, when they are constitutionally obliged to hold another referendum on USI membership.Update: After last night's recount, Luke Fitzpatrick was declared Campaigns and Communications Officer with 1,225 votes in comparison to Ryan Oakes' 1,149.