Liam Coyle, a candidate for UCDSU President has apologised at Students’ Union Council for breaking the regulations of the Executive Elections by using his position as College Officer for the School of Business to advertise his candidacy.
Responding to a question from Darryl Horan, AHSS Masters class representative, Coyle admitted that he had sent an email advertising his candidacy to 943 Business and Smurfit college students from his official UCDSU email account. This constitutes a breach of election regulations, which were explained on two occasions, SU Council 7 and during the nominations briefing on Monday, February 22nd. Coyle was present at Council 7 but did not attend the briefing.
Gary Ward, the class representative for Stage Two Politics, opened up the questioning of Coyle by asking if he would apologise for his breach of the regulations and what steps he has taken to “ensure the fairness of the upcoming executive elections?”.
“Firstly, I will apologise for this situation”, Coyle responded, going on to clarify that the email had not been sent to all business students, saying originally that the email “was just [sent] to my course and to a group of Smurfit students”. Coyle went on to admit that the email had been sent to 943 students.
Responding to Horan, Coyle stated that he had sent two separate emails to students. One to undergraduate and another to post-graduate students. This list of students receive email updates from Coyle during the year and the email advertising his candidacy
As was reported by The College Tribune, Coyle reaffirmed the words of the Returning Officer last week. That in the interests of “fairness and a level playing field” a follow-up email will be sent to the students who received the email advertising Coyle’s candidacy. The email will detail the full list of students successfully nominated for the position of UCDSU President, along with their campaign pages.
Coyle downplayed the seriousness of the breach in regulations saying that “the content of the email was just […] steps in how to register to vote and just a small note at the end saying that I was running for election and with a nomination link”.
Ward questioned this description of the email, quoting a pitch as to why students should vote for Coyle which was featured in the email, “Simply put, I plan to improve the student experience, increase transparency between UCD and its student, make up for the lost year, reengage students with UCD and much more!”
Asked whether he would agree that this statement would constitute canvassing for his election, Coyle maintained that his “small note” description was still accurate.
Stay tuned to The College Tribune for full coverage of the UCDSU Executive Elections.
Hugh Dooley – News Editor