Since 2014, there have been 6 sets of sabbatical elections, including the 2017 presidential by-election, which have elected 25 sabbatical officers to one year terms at the UCD Students’ Union. There have been 6 Presidents, 5 Education, Welfare and Graduate Officers and 4 Campaign & Communication (C&C) Officers. Of all elected officers, 10 were women and 15 were men. When those elected are broken down by sex, there have been 5 male Presidents and 1 female President; 3 female and 2 male Education Officers; 4 female and 1 male Welfare Officers; 2 female and 3 male Graduate Officers and 4 male C&C Officers.
33 men and one non-binary person, representing 61 per cent of all candidates, ran across the 25 races in the last 5 years, with 11 male candidates running for both the positions of President and Campaigns & Communications Officer. Of the 7 female candidates who ran for the position of President, 4 of them ran for President in the 2017/2018 academic year’s Presidential by-election and annual sabbatical election. There has only been one non-binary student, Sam Blanckensee, who ran for Welfare (2014) and C&C Officer (2016).
Since 2015, when the position of C&C officer was reinstated, there has only been one female candidate to run for the position. Katie O’Dea, who is the sole C&C candidate in this year’s sabbatical elections, is therefore certain to be the first female C&C officer since the position was added back to the sabbatical team.
Education and Welfare are the only portfolios for which more female than male candidates have run. 5 women have run for Education since 2014, compared to 4 male candidates, while 7 female candidates ran for Welfare compared to 4 men.
How have constituencies voted?
The Arts & Humanities, Sciences, Agriculture and Food Sciences, and Health Sciences constituencies are the four largest voting blocs among the UCDSU electorate, together representing 64.6 per cent of all student voters since 2014. Arts students have made up over 27 per cent of all valid voters, with Science making up 15.5 per cent, Health Sciences at 11.4 per cent, and Agriculture and Food Sciences students at 10.5 per cent.
Proportionally, Veterinary students, who make up less than 5 per cent of all voters, voted for female candidates the least, with 33.3 per cent of all their votes going to female candidates. The Veterinary constituency also represented the lowest proportion of RON votes at 4 per cent of all their votes since 2014.
In contrast, the Carysfort graduate constituency voted for female candidates the most at 44.2 per cent of all of the constituency’s votes since 2014. Carysfort, which is the smallest constituency at 1.5 per cent of all student voters, also had the highest proportion of RON voters at just over 8 percent. Out of all elections in the last 5 years, the Veterinary constituency has favoured male candidates the most, allocating 62.6 per cent of votes to them.
The Arts constituency, as the largest voting bloc, allocated 57.5 per cent of their votes towards male candidates, compared to 36.5 per cent of votes for female candidates and 6 per cent towards RON.
The University Observer would like to apologise for omitting, in the course of aggregating and interpreting the relevant data, the gender of previous UCD Students' Union sabbatical candidates who identify as other than male or female.