In a surprise announcement, the current Campaigns & Engagement (C&E) Officer for UCD Students’ Union (SU) has pulled out of the race for her re-election. In a statement online, the incumbent explained her year has been “a difficult one at times” and it is the “best decision for [her] personally.”
O’Dea is the third candidate to pull out of the upcoming SU Elections. Current Education Officer Brian Treacy has bowed out of a re-election bid, joining Rebecca Leeson who has pulled out of the C&E race.
Following the dropouts from O’Dea and Leeson, the C&E race is left with two candidates in the running: Leighton Gray and Rekha Vishnu Nagargoje. With the C&E race narrowing, and Gray receiving a number of endorsements from current and former SU team members, Nagargoje faces the task of securing the votes of SU insiders to keep her hat in the ring.
In her statement online, O’Dea used her platform to stress the importance of issues such as “affordable accommodation and adequate higher education funding,” and “communicating and engaging with all students.” As she bowed out of the race, she thanked students for their support, going on to say: “I’m very proud of what I have achieved this year and I have tried to leave the Union and UCD in a better place than when I started. The wonderful people I’ve met along the way and the good memories will stay with me forever.”
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