Rekha Vishnu Nagargoje has pulled out of the Students’ Union (SU) election race for Campaigns & Engagement (C&E) Officer. The graduate student is the third candidate to bow out from the C&E race, leaving current LGBTQ Campaign Coordinator Leighton Gray as the sole person left in the running.
It is understood that Nagargoje is considering running for the position of Graduate Officer in the SU. The position currently has no candidates in the running and a by-election will be called to fill the role following the main elections.
In a statement to the College Tribune, Nagargoje has said: “Global pandemic is bringing tremendous change in our day to day lives and some are trying hard to cope up with it. I appreciate [the] efforts of [the] SU team and acknowledging their efforts to make elections happen through online system. I am withdrawing my nomination, considering lack of opportunities to communicate in person with graduate students and not able to convey my message to them physically.”
Nagargoje admits she is at a disadvantage with the online voting system: “Being a Digital Marketing student, I believe online is a great platform but for recognised brands and I am not in touch with a potential voters that [are] undergraduate students and would miss on those.” Nagargoje wishes Gray the best of luck with their goals and objectives throughout the campaign.
Nagargoje joins Katie O’Dea and Rebecca Leeson as she pulls out of the C&E race. Once the most contested race with four candidates, Leighton Gray is now the last candidate in the running, with their only opponent as the option to reopen nominations on the ballot. Current Education Officer Brian Treacy has also dropped out of his race for re-election.
The Independent Appeals and Disciplinary Board (IADB) has now given approval for online voting to take place. Following a successful vote from Union Council, the online voting has been pushed through IADB, completing the final steps in the process. The historic online vote will be the first of its kind for the SU, which comes as a response to the highly restrictive government measures implemented to manage the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IADB have allowed the Returning Office to hold the elections outside of the constitutional window of teaching weeks 7 to 10. The election dates have not yet been confirmed by the Returning Office, but it is expected that they will be held by April 21st at the earliest.
Follow the College Tribune for extensive UCDSU Election 2020 coverage.
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Conor Capplis – Editor