The first part of the Tribune’s report on UCDSU Hustings covers the elections for the College Officer positions. Each College has one position available, except for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, which has two.
College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Candidates: Sophie Gibbons and Sophie Sheridan-Burns
There are 2 seats available, so the pair are competing against Re-Open Nominations (RON).
Both picked engagement as the answer to a panel question on most pressing issue in their faculty. An audience question asked about an initiative run by the current College Officer which was worthwhile. Gibbons mentioned the Newman page while Sheridan-Burns referenced the Christmas week project.
College of Engineering and Architecture
Candidate: Niall Donohoe
A question from the floor asked for his opinion on mandatory laptop requirements for courses being used to replace computer spaces in the buildings. Donohoe said that a laptop rental system like the one in the library could work and voiced his support for standing computer spaces around the buildings.
College of Law
Candidate: Ed Leonard
The new Law Officer also has jurisdiction over Business and Law students. Leonard recommended noticeboards with news of reports and events on it, alongside hosting more events like coffee mornings. A question from the panel asked whether or not had he already contacted the authorities about these changes. He had not but mentioned he would like to work with LawSoc. There were no questions from the audience.
College of Science
Candidates: Arinjoy Bhanja, Emily Bollard
Bhanja, a class rep, has discussed accommodation with the current Officer and mentioned noticeboards, mental health and gender equality plans in his manifesto. Bollard, a 1st year Science class rep, wants to see more seating areas and wheelchair facilities.
A question from the floor asked whether their plans will fit within budget. Bhanja said one idea was completely free, while he would focus on being efficient to stick within budget. Bollard said that only her seating plan involved a cost, while everything else was achievable.
College of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine
Candidates: Katie Kilgannon, Amy Mulchrone
Kilgannon is class rep and campaign co-ordinator who came second in the election last year to Breifne O’Brien (who is now running for President). She discussed implementing level 0 options for physics and biology modules. Students have to take level 1 modules, but can avail of level 0 modules for subjects like chemistry. Mulchrone wants societies in the different faculties to all work together as one.
A panel question asked about how could the Officer work to ensure the safety of students on placement. Kilgannon noted that a module on placement safety is held on Friday evenings for second year students is not taken seriously and frequently skipped. Mulchrone noted that students are not being taught how to deal with animals as part of Ag courses, then being sent on placements which involve animal work.
A student in the audience felt that the pair were only focusing on Ag students and offered nothing for Vet students. Kilgannon said she put all her effort into vet last year and got nothing back, noting she finished second to Breifne O’Brien in the election last year. She claimed that Vet students only wanted to get their microwave unlocked. Mulchrone said that Vet is a difficult subject and mentioned its 3rd year was changing. She said the solution is to work together and build up links between the sides.
Irish Language Officer / Oifigeach na Gaeilge
Candidate: Treasa Moloney
Treasa Moloney wants to promote the Irish language beyond dedicated weeks like Seachtain na Gaeilge. The panel asked if the role should be disbanded, which O’Neill disagreed with and referenced the number of people who want to get involved in Irish events. A question from the audience concerned the large number of students who little to no Irish who are afraid to get involved if everyone else at events are fluent. O’Neill said she wants more events targeted at beginners.
College of Business
Candidate: Alexandra Bolster
Alexandra Bolster, a stage 1 class rep, set out her three main priority areas: isolation in large courses like commerce, gender equality in the workplace, and internships in courses. A panel question was asked on her plans to tackle isolation in the big courses. Bolster suggested that getting more out of Peer Mentor groups and having class reps organise more activities. A question from the floor said that students in the Quinn Building do not care about UCDSU and asked what could be done to change this. Bolster agreed and suggested noticeboards.
Part Two will cover the Sabbatical positions.
Cian Carton – Editor