After the first-ever online elections, the University College Dublin (UCD) Students’ Union sabbatical team for 2020-21 has almost entirely been elected. The role of Graduate Officer has not been filled so far and there will be a by-election to fill this role before the start of the team’s term. The results were announced this evening from 6 pm on Zoom, with just under 100 people tuning in for the results and candidate speeches.
Students’ Union College Officers:
College Officers are part-time volunteer officers; their role is designed to act as the primary means of communication between students and the SU Executive.
In what ended up being a close race for the Irish Language Officer, Tadhg Maloney won the position by 398 votes, with Eoghan Courtney losing at 375 votes – the closest election of the night with just 23 votes between them. Both Lauren Maunsell and Sophie O’Leary were elected the College Officers for Arts Humanities and Social Science (AHSS) receiving 136 and 167 votes respectively, a total valid poll of 322.
The Law College Officer race was won by Míde Nic Fhionnlaoich by a margin of 74 votes. Míde’s opponent Thomas Rogers tallied 47 number of votes. With 134 votes, Emily Moore has been elected the Science College Officer by a margin of 50 votes over Eoin Fagan, 84 votes.
Marta Geszczak (Health Science), Liam Coyle (Business) and Corey Power De Jong (Engineering and Architecture) all won their uncontested races receiving 53, 42 and 63 votes respectively.
The full list of elected College Officers is as follows:
AHSS College Officers – Lauren Maunsell and Sophie O’Leary
Business College Officer – Liam Coyle
Engineering and Architecture College Officer – Corey Power De Jong
Health Science College Officer – Marta Geszczak
Irish Language Officer – Tadhg Maloney
Law College Officer – Míde Nic Fhionnlaoich
Science College Officer – Emily Moore
Students’ Union Sabbatical Executive Officers:
The Students’ Union’s Sabbatical Executive Officers are elected full-time officers. There are 6 elected officers, with this year’s election seeing no candidates running for Graduate Officer. There have been multiple high-profile dropouts in this election, including re-election bids from current C&E Officer Katie O’Dea and current Education Officer Brian Treacy.
Campaigns and Engagement officer candidate Leighton Gray was elected to the position, amassing 710 votes with a total of 106 people voting for nominations to be reopened. Gray ran uncontested for the position with a manifesto based around continuing the militaristic protests which this year’s Union embodied in the latter half of the year. In their victory speech, Gray was pleased with the outcome saying it was a special victory as it is their birthday today, and that they are probably the first openly transgender UCDSU Sabbatical Officer.
Power told the College Tribune: “I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who trusted me with their vote. I won’t let you down. I want to say a particular thank you to my running mate Darryl for all his help and to my housemates Clare and Danielle for all of their advice. I also want to say thanks to my opponent Rebecca. She couldn’t have been nicer to deal with and ran a really positive campaign. Rebecca made fantastic points about the need to increase student engagement in the union, and I’d be really happy to work with her on some initiatives next year. We have a lot to get done next year, I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it.”
O’Connor told the College Tribune: “I would like to thank everyone who has helped me throughout this election, especially my family, housemates and dear friends. It has truly been an enjoyable experience despite everything else that has been happening at the moment. I hope everyone is staying safe and taking care of themselves. I’d like to thank Ruairí for being such an amazing candidate. I have the greatest admiration for him and his passions and I can’t wait to work with him in the future. ”
Horan told the College Tribune: “I want to say a massive thanks to everyone that got involved in the campaign and those that trusted me with their votes. A particular thanks to Ruairi, Leighton and my campaign manager Sadhbh who have been there with me since the start of this campaign. It was a good spirited campaign with both myself and Hannah raising educational issues that often get marginalized in today’s universities. I wish her all the best in the coming year.”
Bryson told us: “I am grateful to everyone that voted. I had an incredible campaign team, Adam with our phone calls of constantly planning, Niamh and Luke with their feedback and encouragement and Nicole, my Instagram queen make sure there was constantly something on stories for people to engage with. They have kept me sane through this long and unusual campaign. I am delighted that I got elected I will work hard to live up to the plan I have promoted. I can’t wait to see everyone after this lockdown. Thank you Darryl for being a great candidate to campaign against.”
The uncontested Entertainment race saw Sarah Michalek win with a total of 763 votes. 72 people voted to reopen nominations.
Reflecting on her campaign, Michalek told the College Tribune: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be elected and really optimistic about the year ahead! There’s many exciting plans ahead that I’ll dive into planning as soon as I start – for example discussing which charities we will be supporting. I’ll likely celebrate with some friends over zoom and hopefully will be able to plan some sort of small gathering to celebrate once it’s safe to do so! A massive thank you to my campaign manager Emma Gregg and everyone who supported me!”
Conor Anderson won the Presidential race receiving 752 votes. There were 113 votes to reopen nominations out of a total valid poll of 865. The President is the face of the Students’ Union and the CEO of UCDSU Commercial Services Limited.
Anderson focused his manifesto on “keeping the pressure” on UCD management, hoping to build on his experience with the union this year as the current Graduate Officer.
Anderson told the College Tribune: “I want to express my total gratitude at the opportunity to serve in the role of President of UCDSU. I know that this has been a strange election in a strange time, but I still think the Union is an organization with great potential to achieve for students across UCD. I’m going to spend the evening at home (as usual), maybe cook up a nice dinner, and then back to work as soon as next week starts. Thank you, everyone.”
Just 975 students voted in the elections, which represents less than 4% of the student population eligible to vote. Overseas students who are on a semester/year abroad in UCD are not eligible to vote. Of the 1,262 students who registered to vote, 77.25% successfully cast their ballots.
The Sabbatical Team is as follows:
Entertainments Officer – Sarah Michalek
Campaigns & Engagement Officer – Leighton Gray
Welfare Officer – Ruairí Power
Education Officer – Hannah Bryson
President – Conor Anderson
Conor Capplis – Editor
Hugh Dooley – Reporter