On-Campus voting takes place on the 4th and 5th of April. 

Neo O’Herlihy is a stage three English, Drama and Film student. He is running uncontested for the role of Entertainment Officer in this year’s UCDSU election. 

Having never served as a Class Representative or College Officer, O’Herlihy has the least experience with the Students’ Union out of any of the other candidates. Most of his experience with events and promotion in UCD comes from outside the Students’ Union. He’s served on several society committees including PotterSoc, Windsurfing and DramaSoc. It’s DramaSoc where Neo has had his most prevalent committee roles, serving as Public Relations Officer this year. 

Neo O’Herlihy: UCDSU Entertainments Candidate
Neo O’Herlihy: UCDSU Entertainments Candidate

O’Herlihy explains why his society experience is relevant to the role of Entertainment Officer. He states that “reaching out to societies next year and hopefully offering opportunities, would play a part in getting more students involved in events. The most important thing being on committees and putting on events has taught me is that you have to reach out to the people you know and to the people you have yet to know for better opportunities and more options.” 

The UCD Ball returns this year for the first time in several years and O’Herlihy is carefully paying attention. He is gauging the response to this year’s revival of the Ball to see whether it will be worth continuing in subsequent years. “I’m hoping that this year’s ball goes well to set a standard for more large-scale events at UCD in the future. If it’s a success I plan to continue it, with suggestions on how it can be made even better.’ 

O’Herlihy’s manifesto contains two pillars: ‘Harm Reduction’ and ‘Mental Health’. In the interest of Harm Reduction, he’s suggested using leaflets at events and in the SU offices, believing if the information is more accessible it will “in turn, become more effective.” In terms of mental health, he plans to make advertising a staple at all events with the possibility of a short text being read at every SU event. 

“Although not every event is advertised as for mental health, a lot of them can fall into that category by providing the opportunity to take care of one-self or looking out for others.”

O’Herlihy is running in one of the multiple uncontested sabbatical races again this year, with Campaigns and Engagement being the only sabbatical race with more than one candidate. He’s convinced that the key to solving this is a union-wide effort throughout the year, not just when election time rolls around again as well as more opportunities for one-on-one communication with officers. 

Lucy Mackeral – Assistant News Editor