UCDSU offices in the Students' Centre

In the coming weeks, this article will be updated and shared to give you a more accurate picture of candidates for #UCDSUElects2019.

Semester two brings a lot with it: a generous two week break in March, a plethora of society and club balls and the return of skipping midday lectures in favour of a quiet pint in the Clubhouse.

Among all the things that are certainly happening this semester, the annual UCD Students’ Union elections are definitely one of them. Held alongside a referendum on a new constitution, members of the Union will be tasked with selecting sabbatical officers to represent them across five portfolios: President, Education, Welfare, Campaigns & Communications and Graduate. If the new constitution passes, a by-election will then be held to fill the role of Ents officer.

Barring another attempt by incumbent President Barry Murphy, here’s a list of the movers and shakers within the Union and on campus who might try their hand at a sabbatical position.

Rosaleen Aljohmani

Former Arts & Humanities College Officer and a Presidential candidate in last year’s Union elections, Aljohmani successfully campaigned for the inclusion of a Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator within the Union’s campaigns forum, a position which will be open to students if the new constitution passes. Aljohmani has served as auditor of the UCD International Student Society this year and was the Literary & Historical Society’s Inclusion Officer last year.

Aljohmani placed fifth of seven presidential candidates last year, ahead of Amy Crean and Juliet McFadden, writing online shortly after that “this is only the beginning.” Aljohmani is expected to contest this year’s presidential race.

Brian Treacy

Treacy is a final year, Social Sciences class representative from Tipperary who has been this year’s Higher Education Editor for The University Observer. He is a regular contributor at Union Council and has performed at LitSoc’s monthly open mic night, The Cavern, as well as UCD Music Society’s Annual Christmas Concert. Having expressed a desire to create a social science website of essays and articles which would inspire students working on assignments, he is a likely candidate for the role of Education Officer.

Matthew Rose-Nel

Frequently a photographer at society and Union events, Rose-Nel is a familiar face among students and a Digital Ambassador for MyUCD. A student of Environmental Biology and Zoology, he is a close friend of current UCDSU President Barry Murphy and a potential candidate for President or Campaigns & Communications Officer.

Rose-Nel spent time supporting healthcare, physiotherapy and education projects in Nansana, Uganda with UCD Volunteers Overseas, of which he is now a Board Member. He was also behind efforts to establish a Mental Health Society in UCD, a venture which was ultimately rejected by the Societies Council.

Katie O’Dea

Currently serving as the Union’s Environmental Coordinator, Katie O’Dea was elected in one of the most contested races last year, beating five other candidates for the role. A History and Politics & International Relations student, Katie has also been an active member of UCD Labour, fulfilling the role of Vice Chair last year. O’Dea ran for Environmental Coordinator with the intent of providing more recycling bins across campus and selling lunchboxes in the SU shops. This year she has overseen the installation of recycling bins outside the SU shop in Newman, and has carried out a survey on waste segregation in the School of Agriculture and Food Science.

With Green Week set to begin on 4th February, depending on the success of the events scheduled, it could provide O’Dea with a solid foundation on which to launch a campaign. Given her experience within the Union and societies, O’Dea’s name would not appear out of place on the ballot for President or Campaigns & Communications Officer in April.

Andrew Grossen

Grossen, a potential candidate in the race for Graduate Officer, is a postgraduate student of American Politics & Foreign Policy and is the Union’s International Students Coordinator. A graduate of Politics and International Relations, Grossen has worked in the UCD International Office and was an executive member of Democrats Abroad Ireland, an official representation of the US Democratic Party in Ireland. Grossen, who first started in the Union as a first year class representative in 2014, was involved in the campaign of last year’s presidential candidate Juliet McFadden.

Thomas Monaghan

Incumbent Campaigns & Communications Officer Tom Monaghan is a graduate of Social Science and may enter the race for Ents Officer if the Union’s new constitution is adopted. As a veteran class rep, Monaghan had years of involvement with the Union behind him before being elected C&C Officer by a margin of 700 votes.

Joanna Siewierska

A final year Law and Social Justice student who designed and delivered this year’s class rep training for the Union, Siewierska may be considering a run at the Union’s presidency. She is an alternate member of the European Economic and Social Committee, an EU advisory body composed of social partners such as employers, trade unions and other representatives.

Siewierska has previously been Education Officer and Deputy President of the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union and a Lead Trainer with the National Student Engagement Program, a collaborative programme between the Higher Education Authority (HEA), the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI).

Edward Leonard

A second year student of Law with Politics, Edward Leonard is the Union’s college officer for Law and a Training & Development Officer for the UCD Law Society. A regular speaker at LawSoc debates and contributor at Union Council. He was a member of SpunOut.ie’s Action Panel for two years and was a class rep in first year. Leonard is a member of the Kevin Barry Cumann, Ógra Fianna Fáil’s UCD branch and has been tipped as a presidential candidate in April.

Christine Brown

The current secretary for the Student Union council, Brown is a graduate of archaeology. Having run for the position of Education Officer against current officer Stephen Crosby, Brown received 43% of the vote. A former auditor of the archaeology society, Brown is well known both in the Union’s and societies’ corridors. This time around, Brown is likely to run for Graduate Officer, taking over from the Niall Torris’ two year run at the rule. Increasing student employability was one of the key points Brown ran with in the last election season and it is likely to be the centre of her campaign this time around for graduate students.

George Merrin 

A fourth year science student, Merrin has been tipped to run for the position of Welfare Officer. Having been a class rep and a former auditor of SciSoc – the faculty society for science, Merrin has both name recognition in the union and more importantly, one of the largest constituencies in UCD. Merrin has taken part in and actively fundraised for the annual charity cycle to Galway for the past four years, and this experience should serve him well in his campaign for Welfare Officer.

Michael Geary

A food science student, Michael Geary is the current auditor of the Agricultural Society in UCD. Having recently fundraised for The Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association (IMNDA) and the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust as part of Ag Week, Geary is set to be a strong contender for the role of SU President.

His campaign will only be strengthened should no other agriculture science student run against him in the President’s race as traditionally, agriculture science students have rallied behind their own faculty’s candidates during the elections. Last year, presidential candidate, Breifne O’Brien received 334 votes in the first count, the highest number of votes any presidential candidate received from a single faculty.


Additional reporting by Dylan O’Neill

This article was last amended on Saturday 2nd February at 12.24pm.
This article was amended on Saturday 2nd February at 12.24pm to correct the inaccurate statement that Rosaleen Aljohmani placed sixth in last year’s elections. She finished fifth of seven candidates.
This article was last amended on Tuesday 12th February at 2.10pm.
This article was last amended on Thursday 14th Februrary at 12.15pm to correct the inaccurate statement that Katie O’Dea had not fulfilled her goals set out in her election speech.