Class Representative nomination numbers have only decreased by 4.5% on last year's numbers at this time, despite worries of a much larger decrease due to Covid-19 restrictions.
At present, UCDSU has received 231 valid nominations for Class Reps, 92 of which were uncontested and so have automatically received their seats. This is a noticeably small downturn from last year's numbers at the initial Class Rep Election. They had 242 valid nominations, across 94 constituencies, in comparison to this year’s 89 constituencies.
The three most heavily contested constituencies are Stage 1 and 2 Science, with 16 and 11 students respectively running for a total of 6 seats, and Stage 1 Engineering, with 11 students running for 3 seats.
In previous years, Class Rep nominations and elections have been one of the SU’s primary goals in the early stages of the academic year. Throughout Orientation Week and Freshers Week, Sabbatical Officers, SU staff, and Campaigns Officers spend hours handing out nomination forms and promoting this central aspect of the SU council using every platform available to them. This year, none of the in-person promotion has been possible.
Leighton Gray, this year's Campaigns and Engagement Officer, spoke to The University Observer about how glad they are with this outcome, particularly since there was an “active interest from first-years to graduate students”, which was “a welcome surprise since we could not meet these students face to face.”
Commenting on previous years, they said: “Our main advertisement for Class Rep recruitment is at Orientation Week, Freshers Week, Dean’s welcomes, lecture addressing, and the student email, none of which were available during the nomination period this year.” As for their process this year, Gray says that “I’m glad we were able to reach as many interested students as possible with all of our activities online.”
They hope to further expand the SU Council in the upcoming by-elections, “which already have had significant interest”, as well as through the upcoming Campaign and Ents forum elections, for which the nominations are already open. Nominations for these positions close at midday on October 19th.
The remaining 127 candidates will be voted upon on the 14-15 of October via http://vote.ucdsu.ie. Ents and Campaign forum elections are due to take place the week of October 19th.