This year’s UCD Students’ Union (UCDSU) Sabbatical Officers made campaign promises about being quick off the mark to promote UCDSU’s campaigns and services to students. The College Tribune recently caught up with Barry Murphy, UCDSU Campaigns & Communications Officer, and Eoghan Mac Domhnaill, UCDSU Welfare Officer, to see if they have been living up to these promises.
Murphy was elected to his position without any prior Union experience, but had plenty of society involvement. He spoke about increasing the amount of cross-promotion between UCDSU and societies while on the campaign trail. When asked if he was fulfilling that promise, Murphy talked about what he has been up to with societies.
“I have already been working on my manifesto promise of working with societies. UCD Nutrition Soc, a new society this year, helped provide our Healthy Breakfast during Fresh Fest. They were given the opportunity to pitch to students and promote their events. Juggling Soc also took part in Fresh Fest. I worked closely with LGBTQ+ Society in the build up and during Pride back in June. I have met and planned events with Horticulture Soc to work on reducing UCD’s carbon footprint.”
He has also been working with James Alkayed, Chair of the Societies Council, over the past number of weeks. The pair gave “Get Involved” talks together during Orientation Week, which encouraged students to “to dive head first into campus life.” They are set to meet again after Freshers’ Week to “talk about collaborations and society event promotion.”
Regarding the future referendum on abortion, UCDSU’s Repeal campaign is being directed by Murphy. He mentioned that UCDSU ran a voter registration drive during Orientation Week with the help of with Gardaí from Donnybrook Station, which aimed to get incoming Freshers to register to vote. Since the date of the 2018 vote is yet to be decided, Murphy confirmed UCDSU would instead be “focusing on grass roots, campaign strengthening events like the March for Choice on September 30th which we had a great attendance at last year and will do again this year. We’ll buy in placards, t-shirts, megaphones and hold poster making sessions beforehand to get the same crowd out again.”
Similarly, Mac Domhnaill promised to do more to promote UCDSU’s welfare services to students earlier in the year. He explained that in “terms of advertising, we’ve begun during Orientation Week giving welcomes in the vast majority of the Dean’ welcomes. He used these talks to explain to inform incoming students about the Union. He also revealed that there is a “communications plan being rolled out for the entire semester” that he is working on with Murphy “so there will be a consistent communication throughout the semester.”
Cian Carton – Editor