Presidential Profiles: Declan Kelly – ‘The Dark Horse’
Declan Kelly a third year BA Politics and Geography student who wants to be a fresh representative in the Students’ Union who’ve never been represented before. Kelly, who has never been involved in the SU before, nor held a high position in societies believes that his fresh look at how the SU does things and improve its offering.
Kelly wants to tackle RAG week, looking to examples like NUIG Galway where they successfully raise thousands for charities. Kelly says the amount UCDSU raises in a year amounts to barely 50 cents per person on campus and we should be aiming higher.
Kelly also wants to reevaluate how we approach issues of consent and mental health on campus. Kelly wants to introduce smaller events on these topics, both to make them more accessible but also to tackle the risk that there could be a negative backlash from poor attendance. These smaller events would also be spread out over the year, but also with ‘at least one big event’, in support of these causes. Kelly has spoken extensively to former and current Campaign and Communication officers to explore the best ways to implement his vision.
Kelly discusses his plans to bring the UCD Ball back to campus, laying out a plan to shuttle people to campus on buses and restrict the alcohol on sale as a way of getting UCD to approve it. This would be part of a large push for better Ents events on campus, including designated busking spaces on campus and helping with the formation of a DJ Society to provide entertainment for the Clubhouse. Kelly drew inspiration from other campuses across Ireland and further afield for his Ents ideas.
Kelly wants to empathise bringing the SU to students, through clinics based out of the various buildings around campus. He says that while the marketing online of what the SU does has gotten better in recent years, ‘it can only be a good thing’, to bring the people of the SU closer to the students.
Kelly notes that some of the ideas he is proposing are already done by the SU, but that they need to be advertised better. He aims to target these, particularly via social media, in part because he views it as a more effective means of delivering the information, but also because he sees flyers as a waste of paper. He wishes to promote a cleaner and greener campus, aiming to organise regular cleanups on campus with participants being brought to the Clubhouse afterwards for pints and food.
Kelly acknowledges the good work that has gone into improving the training for Class Representatives, though he wants to see the training bring in new elements focused on inclusivity training, to ensure that Reps can adequately represent all the students in their course.
On the issues of both the student Levy and rejoining USI Kelly said that he would respect the vote of the Student Body and represent them as best he could in these issues.
By Aaron Bowman – CoEditor