Online elections for this year’s University College Dublin Students’ Union (UCDSU) Class Representatives took place on the 14th/15th of October. However, the voting was struck by reports of students struggling to reliably cast their votes.
In total there were 223 students nominated for Class Representative Roles, of which 146 were successful. Almost 63% of Representative positions were uncontested, as 92 positions from a wide variety of constituencies failed to be contested by more than one candidate, including 9 Masters and Doctorate Programmes
Of the 27 contested elections, almost 60% were among the first year cohort, with 16 contested places for Stage One Class Representatives. Just one Stage 3 election was contested, BCL (Dual Law Degree), whereas Stage 2 and 4 had 5 and 2 contested elections respectively.
Those constituencies most highly contested were the Stage 1 BCL (dual) where there were 8 candidates vying for one seat, and Stage 1 Science where there were 16 candidates for 6 seats. Other elections which saw large numbers of nominated candidates include Stage 2 Science where there were 11 candidates for 6 seats, and Stage 1 Engineering where 11 candidates put themselves forward for 3 seats.
It was not revealed which constituencies had no nominations and will require by-elections. The SU’s autumn elections continue with the nominations for Entertainments and Campaigns Forum candidates open until noon on the 19thOctober.
On 15th October, election day was struck by technical issues affecting a selection of voters. A video was released via the UCD Student’s Union Facebook and Twitter featuring the Campaigns and Engagements Officer, Leighton Gray, who acknowledged the issue and assured voters that the SU were trying to “get in contact with the company that deals with it”. The post accompanying the video stated that “some people have reported being able to vote in constituencies that aren’t their’s”.
The 20/21 Class Representative Election was the second time UCDSU has run their elections online, after the Executive Elections 2020 last spring which were moved online due to Covid-19 disruptions. In the Executive Elections in spring 2020, online voter turnout was around 3% with 975 voters. UCD Students Union has not yet released the voter statistics for this year’s Class Representative elections.
Emer Nolan – Reporter
Gemma Farrell – Assistant News Editor