UCDSU Executive Minutes have confirmed that the Union hired a Digital Marketing Manager in October to assist sabbatical officers. Despite this hiring, the Union was in breach of it’s social media and website related mandates for the majority of semester one.
The minutes from the fourth meeting of the SU’s Executive Officers on October 1st 2018 read, “Molly Ebbs has been hired to help deal with social media obligation while sabbats are busy. This has been helpful to Thomas in his role ensuring effective communication.”
When the Tribune contacted Union President Barry Murphy for a comment, he explained “we hired a specialist to, amongst many other tasks, assist Sabbatical Officers with all aspects of social media management. This role in no way relieves the Sabbatical Officer of a mandated duty regarding social media management. This staff member, as is the case with all staff members, was budgeted for.”
Murphy failed to comment on whether the introduction of a new paid role to the Union staff was necessary, especially in a year when the union’s budget is estimated to eat into the Union’s reserves by over 46k. Furthermore, it is unclear if this role will continue to exist in the coming academic year if the proposed constitutional changes are approved and the Union separates the role of Campaigns and Communications Officer into two roles.
Ebbs lists her job as including the “daily updating of UCD SU website with news items and events”, despite the fact that the SU website is in the process of being redesigned and has not been updated since she began her work in the SU. It is unclear if Ebbs is the web design professional that Monaghan told the Tribune the SU had hired during the summer to overhaul the website.
The minutes from Executive Meeting 6 show that there continued to be concerns over the effectiveness of SU social media in promoting the union, including a need for more sponsored promotional posts regarding Lá Na Gaeilge and society events appearing more frequently than SU events on SU social media platforms.
By Muireann O’Shea – CoEditor