Three postgraduate students are contesting the race for Graduate Officer at University College Dublin (UCD) Students’ Union (SU). Following the election of five executive officers in May, the position for Graduate Officer was left vacant, leading the Returning Office to call a by-election this month.
Aaditya Manoj Shah, Carla Gummerson and Rekha Vishnu Nagargoje will be vying for students’ votes for the full-time, paid, executive position within UCDSU. During this year’s main elections, Rekha Vishnu Nagargoje was one of four students bidding for Campaigns & Engagement Officer. Following three dropouts, including Nagargoje, remaining candidate Leighton Gray was elected on 710 votes. Carla Gummerson has served as Auditor of UCD’s Mature Students Society for the past two years. Aaditya Manoj Shah has been extensively involved with the movement for partial university fee compensation for international students, the demands of which saw college authorities recently reject calls.
Polling for the by-election will take place online from 9am on June 10th until 9pm on June 11th. The results will be announced at 5pm on June 12th via Zoom.
Current Graduate Officer Conor Anderson was elected President of UCDSU in an uncontested race which saw him receive 752 votes. He replaces current President Joanna Siewierska. The other executive officers are: Entertainments Officer – Sarah Michalek, Campaigns & Engagement Officer – Leighton Gray, Welfare Officer – Ruairí Power, Education Officer – Hannah Bryson.
This year’s main SU elections saw less than 4% of students vote, in what was likely the smallest turnout on record. The elections fell during revision week for UCD, before an online assessment period which saw an increase in assignments for students in the absence of in-person exams at the RDS. The SU were also forced to abandon plans to spend expenditure on sponsored content for social media platforms.
Voting will happen online using the same system the SU used in the elections at the end of April. Membership Services Limited (MSL), a UK company that specialises in university society and union elections, will continue to provide services to the SU. Technical issues arose with the voting system in April. iPhone users who opted to vote through a link within Facebook or Instagram apps may not have successfully voted, causing the Returning Office to take actions in informing registered voters of this error.
Follow The College Tribune for extensive coverage of UCDSU Elections 2020.
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Conor Capplis – Editor