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College Tribune Campaigns & Communications Debate

The College Tribune hosted a video debate in its office on Friday evening for candidates vying for the position of the UCDSU Campaigns and Communications Officer.

Below is our promo (just a bit of fun) along with a short video with the candidates answering the Tribune’s questions.

For the rest of the debate we allowed the candidates ask questions of one another – the first is posted here where the candidates discuss “Credits for Life.” Two more videos to come.

Promo

Questions

Debate Part One: Credits for Life

Debate Part Two: Stance on Fees and the Candidates Experience

Debate Part Three: Political Affiliations, thumb the UCDSU website and Car Parks

36 COMMENTS

  1. Karl Gill is the only one who doesn’t seem like a complete tosser. Paddy Guiney is probably the most irritating, though at least he’s not as smarmy as James Atkinson. Aisling Sheerin seems fairly harmless but she doesn’t exactly inspire me with confidence. I also don’t agree that an SU officer has to be apolitical. If I was one, I’d make no secret of my (fairly left-wing) political views.

    And what’s with Guiney’s spirited defence of Kevin Barry Cumann? It’s not like anyone there was denigrating it. I’m certainly not a fan of anything Fianna Fáil-related but I’m sure that they’re a great bunch of lads, mostly.

  2. Beware of the KBC Brigade. Sheerin is certainly the loudest but she clearly doesn’t say anything worthwhile, other than a vague promise to establish a book store in the Belfield FM corridor.

    Karl Gill has already made a fool of himself by organising that 3,000€ meeting. RON for me.

  3. Good to see everyone put their political positions out there. Now we can beware the closet Fianna Failers . . .

  4. What a smarmy bunch of hacks.

    Sheerin and Guiney were fairly pathetic with their ‘no, im a bigger hack by being involved in such and such campaigns.’

    Lads, just because you attended a USI march or two and were involved in licking sabbatical officer’s hole’s by being involved in seacthain na gaeilge does not mean your some kind of advocate or a ‘campaigner’.

    The only person I can see myself voting for is Gill as he didn’t engage in that ridiculous dialogue and actually seems to be running for fairly valid reasons as opposed to the sole reason of being recognised as chief-hack.

  5. I must say, 2 were good, 2 were awful.

    Guiney and Sheerin made fools of themselves as they argued ridiculous points and tested who could shout the loudest.. Neither with anything valuable to say… Sheerin with some good ideas, Guiney with some outlandish lies, false promises and a desire to get the job at all costs.

    Gill and Atkinson kept composure and did well.. Reasonable and achievable ideas by both.. Atkinson with evidence to prove his ideas are doable and seems he has much research done. He seems to be innovative, clever and very studious.

    Gill seems the one with the most experience in real terms. Has much activism and campaigns under his belt fighting for what he believes in.. Open and honest in his answers and doesn’t seem to have any skeletons in his closest. A decent down to earth guy.

  6. I feel bad for the other candidates having to be part of a debate with Aisling Sheerin. She has nothing productive to say and initiates ridiculous arguments that bring down the whole debate. Fair play to Paddy Guiney for putting up with her onslaught of petty comments although he shouldn’t have let himself go down to her level and engage in those arguments.

    James Atkinson does seem to have his homework done here but how hard is it to get a RSA campaign in the college? We need an officer that will bring something new and useful which I don’t think Atkinson is.

    If Gill were to be more approachable and to have some decent ideas, he could be worth a vote but it’ll be Guiney for me to bring a positive change to the SU.

  7. paddy seemed to lose his head, but at least he seems fairly passionate! aisling appeared incredibly petty. james is solid and would probably do a good job but carl must be the best bet…. anyway, excellent showing from time keeper donie o’sullivan!

  8. The above comments confuse me. In the last TWO Hustings the three candidates have attacked Paddy Guiney from left, right and center. At the Hustings in the Student Center Paddy remained calm and refused to engage directly with some of the insults thrown at him. However, here he stands his ground and doesn’t take any shit from the others. A commendable trait.

    It’s ironic how “Credits for Life” took a whole “part” of the debate, and even more entertaining how this is Paddy’s idea. Guiney is the only candidate with any innovative ideas to change the way the Students’ Union operates and is viewed by many students in UCD. It appears from this debate that Paddy has researched into Credits For Life and understands its feasibility by citing a committee in place. I’m not sure if the other candidates have done any research at all on this. There was a pilot scheme implemented a couple of years a go for a semester. This idea of creditation for participation is something that the University are interested in and are trying to implement. The groundwork has been set, and Paddy just wants to give it a final push. There is nothing outlandish about this.

    Paddy stood his ground here, as the other three try to attack his credibility by accusing him of “promising the world”. He went head to head with Sheerin over experience. As someone wrote above this was obviously NOT an argument over who is the bigger “hack”, it was simply an exchange over who has the MOST relevant experience for the job. It’s obvious that Aisling Sheerin does not, and it’s between Gill and Guiney when it comes to experience.

    I’m rather confused over Atkinson’s idea of having a stand with tea where he can chat to students. He explains how the “come to the office and have a chat” is not accessible or welcoming to students. The Welfare Officer often has “tea mornings” for Please Talk and other such welfare-events and if I recall correctly these are not very successful. Atkinson’s ideas of tea-mornings are demeaning the position and are not directly related to the position he is running for at all.

  9. @ David (Farrell) above, Paddy has got wind of an idea that UCD (not UCD SU) has been looking to implement for at least two years now.

    It’s not his ideas, it’s the UCD authority’s idea. He shouldn’t be attempting to take the credit (if you’ll excuse the pun) for it.

    We’ve all attended marches; does this mean we have the experience to run for office? This nonsense needs to be nipped in the bud now. While the Irish language and free fees are worthy causes, they are absolutely not the reserve of two people who attended marches. Thousands took part in the latter, we were all part of the march.

    Gill could be a good candidate, but I think he might have a tough time working with other KBCers, like Heffo or the present Education Officer, if he was elected. We might have an SU with internal strife, thus damaging the image of the union even further amongst candidates.

    • By the looks of it, Karl Gill and the amazingly apolitical Aisling Sheerin are the only candidates for any office who weren’t in the Kevin Barry Cumann.

    • Who is David Farrell?

      Are you talking about credits for life? Maybe you should do some more research there fella, because the Education Officer a few years back actually had an integral roll in having a pilot scheme setup. Unfortunately you’re showing your lack of research here and just grasping at straws.

      I’m sorry if I’m ignorant or misunderstood, but the last time I checked the Students’ Union represented students surrounding student life in UCD? Wouldn’t a project like creditation for participaton be seriously important to student life in UCD? Could the future Campaigns & Communications Officer not work in conjunction with the Education Officer to have a place on that committee? You’re showing such ignorance in this post. How unfortunate.

      Again, ignorance. Paddy not only has attended marches, but had a huge influence on the Save Our Track campaign. Ask any student about Save Our Track and they’ll know about it. It was co-ordinated extremely well. Better than the Fees march or Karl Gill’s copi-print march.

      It’s not due to him ATTENDING marches that he is the most experienced candidate. It is due to the fact he has ran one which hit every corner of UCD, raising more awareness for a campaign than any other candidate has. Clue up.

  10. First off I don’t think it’s in the remit of the C&C office to promise parking (much like credits for life). And I think it was good of Atkinson to call out guiney on whether there was planning permission or a commitment from Dun Laioghre for this to happen.

    That having been said if we were to improve parking I see no reason why students wouldn’t pay for parking. 150 euro per annum let’s say and then you are guaranteed parking in a specific lot anytime of the day you come and park on campus.

    You get issued a sticker at the start of year and anyone who parks in the wrong area, or doesn’t have a sticker to park on campus gets fined.

    • I don’t think any of the candidates are promising anything when they cite ideas outside of the Campaigns & Communications Officer role. What they mean is that they will lobby, campaign and work to get these things implemented. Or at least set the groundwork for future officers. This is what is meant when we talk about parking, moving the bookshop etc.

      Great idea regarding the stickers etc. Brian.

  11. Aisling Sheerin was the only one with anything worth while to say! Guiney just lied through his teeth to promote himself and said “i venture” too much! He had nothing to do with the “save our track” campaign! And he is completely unrealistic about most things!!

    Aisling Sheerin makes herself heard and is the only one i would actually have faith in committing to her promises. The others just come across as rambling fools!

    • Obviously you never read sheerin’s Arts PRO manifesto. Personally, I’m still waiting for the day I can withdraw a fiver from the ATMs of UCD.

    • Don’t make me laugh, Kevin; cos Aisling Sheerin already did! She was an absolute joke in these video debates, making absolutely nonsensical points and if anything she was the most ‘rambling’ candidate -certainly not cut out for any type of debate. I mean, who actually cares where an SU officer’s political allegiance lies? Do you honestly think that even if they were a member of SWP or FF that their beliefs would permeate through to the SU? Get real, it’s not like the SWP candidate will suddenly turn UCD into a collectivised farm run by a dictatorial regime; or similarly if an FF candidate wins, do you honestly think they would all be accepting brown envelopes to allow apartments to be developed on the concourse? Saying she was totally ‘apolitical’ was just stupid. Why get involved in SU politics then? If she had said something like “I look at policies over parties”, then she could have salvage some respect in my eyes. But the whole thing is a joke to be honest; the reality is that SU elections are like watching a bunch of kids playing political dress-up.

  12. Thought Guiney came across relatively well, he kept his composure despite Sheerin screaming at him for almost the entire debate.

    Atkinson came across really well, was composed, articulate and had his research done. Wouldn’t be a big fan of any of Gill’s policies, but he does seem to be fairly genuine and passionate.

    In response to David, I’m not really sure how Atkinsons idea of tea meetings ‘demean’ the position. Surely the C&C’s main job is to communicate with students and being out on campus actively seeking student feedback in a friendly setting would be a pretty effective way of doing this. Sabbats exist to serve the student, so i really can’t see what’s demeaning about this idea.

    • Hey Aidan,

      Personally I would think that campaigns would be the more integral part of the position due to student’s circumstances at the minute. Postgrads suffer heavily due to grants being taken away, they pay about 30k a year in fees. Fees are looking to be hiked again. Furthermore, there are plenty of student issues in every day life which need addressing such as the taking away of IT Services in the science building.

      Personally I would rather see my future C&C officer working on campaigns than having tea with a few students and self-promoting himself. Having a stand with tea will bring about as many people into the Union as saying “come into my office”. The Please Talk tea and breakfast mornings are not particularly successful in bringing new people into the Union. I don’t know why a C&C tea stand would be any different.

      Campaigns are the more integral part of this position considering the times. Therefore I find it demeaning to the position!

    • Hey Aidan,

      Personally I would think that campaigns would be the more integral part of the position due to student’s circumstances at the minute. Postgrads suffer heavily due to grants being taken away, they pay about 30k a year in fees. Fees are looking to be hiked again. Furthermore, there are plenty of student issues in every day life which need addressing such as the taking away of IT Services in the science building.

      Personally I would rather see my future C&C officer working on campaigns than having tea with a few students and self-promoting himself. Having a stand with tea will bring about as many people into the Union as saying “come into my office”. The Please Talk tea and breakfast mornings are not particularly successful in bringing new people into the Union. I don’t know why a C&C tea stand would be any different.

      Campaigns are the more integral part of this position considering the times. Therefore I find it demeaning to the position!

  13. Who is David Farrell?

    Are you talking about credits for life? Maybe you should do some more research there fella, because the Education Officer a few years back actually had an integral roll in having a pilot scheme put in place.

    I’m sorry if I’m ignorant or misunderstood, but the last time I checked the Students’ Union represented students surrounding student life in UCD? Wouldn’t a project like creditation for participaton be seriously important to student life in UCD? Could the future Campaigns & Communications Officer not work in conjunction with the Education Officer to have a place on that committee? Just because the UCD academic board have a committee in place does not mean a Sabbatical officer cannot have an influence on the scheme. Please realise this.

    Paddy not only has attended marches, but had a huge influence on the Save Our Track campaign. Ask any student about Save Our Track and they’ll know about it. It was co-ordinated extremely well. Better than the Fees march or Karl Gill’s copi-print march (which were both great campaigns) but did not reach as many students, on the ground, as the Save Our Track campaign.

    It’s not due to him ATTENDING marches that he is the most experienced candidate. It is due to the fact he has ran one which hit every corner of UCD, raising more awareness for a campaign than any of the other candidates have.

    • He had an integral part in supporting an idea which UCD (NOT UCD, do you understand the difference little man?) initiated, based on something which another prominent Dublin-based University had started.

      Creditation for life is completely biased in favour of younger under-graduate students. It might have its virtues but it has many problems. We’ll see what UCD will do.

      Save Our Track is continually bandied about as a “success” for Paddy. It was a failure; the track is gone. UCD athletes have to either train around campus, not on a track, or off campus.

      If you are saying that success is based purely upon getting an idea known, whether it is good or bad, then I think you highly under-estimate what students EXPECT from the Union.

      Anyone could run around lecture theatres, disrupt the class, and ask people to support an idea and fail. Like all the previous “stop the fees” campaigns. Paddy is certainly well versed in those.

      He didn’t hit up Richview. He’s a nice chap, don’t get me wrong, but his petulance in the face of criticism is matched only by Brendan Lacey or you. Are you Lacey or Paddy?!

      • I don’t really understand your first paragraph there, yes it was initiated by DCU this is true. We’re the biggest university in Ireland, we have trained many famous sports men and women. Why not encourage this participation through creditation for participation?

        Yes I fully accept your point regarding it favouring younger students. However surely there are more positives than negatives in this regard? We should support more rounded degrees with experience outside of the lecture theatres.

        A failure? Well, listen, it seems to me often campaigns do not actually achieve their main goal. However, it is all about the awareness and the buzz you create. A mass movement of people making a point. A committee has been set up by UCD with the Athletics Board looking at the feasibility of having a new track built. I don’t know how you could not call a committee such as this being set up as a failure.

        Apologies if I came across petulant, it was a rash post. Paddy is a close friend of mine and has been through a lot of personal attacks over the last weeks and I just got a bit firey momentarily.

        I can confirm I am not Lacey or Paddy, I’m simply a close friend.

  14. Sorry, I’m just a bit lost here in relation to David’s comment in relation to Guiney organising one campaign “which hit every corner of UCD”. What was this campaign? Complete ignorance on my part but would just like this cleared.

  15. I have to agree that Aisling Sheerin did constantly shout over the other candidates, only making herself appear petty and like a “hack” however she had some very valid points also. I have to admit it scares me how much she went on about the Gaeilge (and I fully believe it is a vital subject) simply because her arguments were very one dimensional and what about the rest of us, or those who can’t even speak Irish?! She seems to me a classic representative of the stereotypical D4 wannabe UCD/Trinity student, who has the country laughing at us. I hate to base my judgements of her on stereotype and all that but she stikes me as someone who will change the second they get the job, and only be approachable if you fit into their agenda.

    Karl Gill, well fair play to admitting to failing the leaving cert, not sure how well that will stand to him though. He’s part of a group who bully people constantly and accuse honest hard working people of cheating and lying when they happen to have become successful the right way just because they like to tar everyone over the breadline with the same brush. I am fully in favour of free fees but where else is the 1 million debt going to come from Karl?! Maybe make the not stuggling students pay for everyone else as you would have the country do?! No, I refuse to put someone like that in any sort of powerful position. He also will listen to no-one once elected.

    Paddy, who I actually met recently held his own under attack from the other three. Can’t say I agree with the insinuation he’d have anything to do with the parking situation but it would be the elected officer’s job to try at least. He comes across courteous mostly in person however the KBC thing really bothers me and I’m not sure I can trust anyone from there any longer given the situation we’re in now. He fits into the same category as Pat de Brun for me – nice guy etc but ultimately what are they doing for us Vs what the job is doing for their CVs.

    James Atkinson came across collected and in my opinion, very well. He seems like he had researched a lot of his arguments, he was realistic in his goals and points he made were very valid for the most part. I’m not sure he would be able to cope in the position and remain friendly with others and have a positive image for UCD. I have to say after this debate my vote has changed significantly and I now believe James Atkinson to be the best of an average lot, as he might actually get the job done.

  16. David- To be honest, I think it’s a bit ridiculous on your part to suggest that holding a weekly tea meeting would have an adverse effect on the campaigns aspect of the C&C officers brief. While I agree that campaigns are extremely important, I really don’t see how a couple of hours out of the working week would have much of an impact on the Sabbats ability to perform other aspects of his/her role.

    When I was in first year, I wouldn’t have been able to name 2 of the sabbats, never mind the C&C officer. Surely a pro-active policy such as this can only heighten student involvement in the SU and help educate students on what their paid officers can do for them. Maybe getting out and finding out what the average student cares about is something that should be encouraged, rather than be referred to as demeaning.

    • We are not paying our Sabbats 400 euro a week to sit and self-promote themselves over tea. And I simply can’t get by that if I’m honest, Aidan.

      The Sabbats are drowning in work loads, I think it’s simply naive to think that taking a few hours out every week to have tea and chat to students would not affect the job that needs to be done.

      We are facing a seriously tough time in this climate as students. Fees increasing, post-grand grants removed, individual student grants cut, sexism, racism (hello Atkinson and LGBT issues..amongst other things of course.

      That’s fair enough, I only knew who one of my sabbatical officers were when I was in first year. I understand where you’re coming from on the pro-active idea. However, I still firmly believe that there are many, many, many ways to involve students more in the Union. I do not think tea mornings are an effective or productive way in doing this. All you have to do is look at the Please Talk tea events to realise how few people care or get involved.

      Exactly WHO your sabbatical officers is not the relevant issues. It’s that they are THERE, working for YOU and are available to YOU for guidance. I just think it’s absolutely ludicrous.

      Atkinson has not got one innovative idea on his manifesto. His attempt at a website is a sham. His negative campaigning towards Paddy Guiney has been shameful for the university and students alike. His manifesto only addressed communications, it does not address one campaign outside of Road Safety. In my opinion there are way more prevalent issues affecting students outside of Road Safety.

      I was actually going to give Atkinson my #2 up until all this negative campaigning came out. A lot of people have been repulsed by it and he has really shot himself in the foot there.

  17. My stance on the matter is a simple one. As a first year student, the two people who have stood out to me are Guiney and Sheerin. I’ve seen both on campus and involved in various events throughout the year and I was impressed by their enthusiasm. I’ve never once seen or heard of Gill. Atkinson served me a few times in Centra and made an extremely bad first (second, third, and fourth) impression.
    What this campus needs is someone with a presence and someone approachable. I came across Guiney today while meeting friends and he was more than happy to sit down and chat to us and answer any questions. For me, this went the extra mile. As someone already said, it’s doubtful that Atkinson could hold a positive presence on campus for long.

  18. Have to say, as a mature student I am disappointed in the lot of them. Communication skills are poor, and they all seem to have lost the understanding of what role they are going for. Much to my dismay, I’d be inclined not to vote at all if I am honest.

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