UCDSU Election Special - FAQ

What am I voting for?

Students will be voting to elect representatives to the UCD Students’ Union’s Executive. The group is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Union and is made up of the President, the Welfare Officer, Education Officer, Graduate Officer, the Campaign & Communications Officer and 9 College Officers. Students will also be voting on a proposed new constitution for the Union and whether to accept an extension to the student centre levy.

What is ‘voting down the ballot?

Voting in executive elections is carried out in a similar format to Irish political elections, in that there is proportional representation. This means that you can vote 1,2,3 etc for candidates in your order of preference. If no candidate reaches the quorum in the first count, the candidate in last place will be eliminated. The votes of the eliminated candidate will be redistributed to the remaining candidates. Then, your number 2 vote will be transferred to the candidate that you placed as second preference. Voting down the ballot means that instead of voting for just one candidate, you are ensuring that the kind of candidates you like are more likely to get elected and candidates you don’t like have less of a chance.

What is RON?

RON stands for Re-Open Nominations. This vote is treated like a candidate in all executive elections. If you do not like the candidates for a race, you can vote RON number 1. If you really like candidates and greatly dislike other candidates, you can vote for the ones you like and then vote RON ahead of the candidates you dislike, in order of personal preference. This also ensures that there are not wasted votes.

What are the two referenda about?

Along with the executive elections, students will be asked to vote on a referendum to accept changes to the UCDSU Constitution and a referendum to extend the Student Centre Levy. One of the main issues the first referendum asks students is to decide whether or not to re-introduce the role of Ents Officer as a sabbatical position and remove the requirement to hold a vote on USI membership every few years. The second referendum asks students whether or not they agree to extend the Student Centre levy to fund the expansion of the Student Centre.

What is Hustings?

Before voting is to take place, all candidates in the executive elections, as well as any student involved in either the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ campaigns will address students at an open debate called hustings. They will be quizzed on their campaigns, manifestos and visions for their chosen roles. All students are invited to attend, and it is a way to ask any burning questions you may have for any of the candidates running, if you are still on the fence before voting.

When and where do I vote?

Voting will take place on the 1st and 2nd April. Each school will have their own individual specific time and location for voting. To see where you are voting, and from what time, check the timetable below.

What do I need to vote?

All you need to bring with you is your UCard to vote, as proof of identity. You will be provided with each ballot and writing material at the polling station.

What does the Students’ Union President do?

According to the Constitution, the President is the “CEO, First Officer & Chief Spokesperson of the Union and shall be responsible for the administration of the Union. All staff of the Union shall be ultimately responsible to the President.” The President is the face of Union, coordinating its activities and bearing ultimate responsibility for its finances.

What does the Students’ Union Welfare Officer do?

The Welfare Officer is responsible for issues that relate to student welfare. This includes raising awareness of, or promoting, counselling services, mental health, disability services, sexual health, LGBTQ+ issues, and many more. The Welfare Officer handles a lot of student cases but is not a counselling service and must refer students to the relevant services.

What does the Students’ Union Education Officer do?

The Education Officer handles issues of academic interest including exams and repeats, fees, library services etc. The Education Officer also deals with personal cases and must, like the Welfare Officer, keep those cases confidential.

What does the Graduate Officer do?

The Graduate Officer deals with issues relating to the education, welfare and student experience of graduate students. They also cover a lot of student cases. Unlike the other sabbatical officers, they must maintain office hours at the Blackrock campus at least one day per week.

What does the Campaigns and Communications Officer do? The Campaigns and Communications Officer (C&C) is in charge of Union-led campaigns both on campus and on a national level. They also have responsibility for Union publications such as the Wingin’ It In UCD handbooks. While the President is responsible for the provision of the events, the C&C Officer is the chairperson of the Campaigns forum. The C&C Officer is also responsible for the upkeep of the website and SU social media.