Neo O’Herlihy is a stage three English, Drama and Film student who is running against Daniel Devey in the hopes of being re-elected to the position of Entertainments Officer in this year’s UCDSU elections.

O’Herlihy has decided to run again because coming to the end of this year he feels he has new ideas for the role.

Elaborating on these new ideas he explained that after reflecting on his manifesto from last year he noticed it was quite welfare-focused, and although this is important, he wants to compact his focus this year to entertainment and events.

Speaking on why voters should pick him over his opposition he outlines that he is coming from a place of experience. In particular, he wants to focus on permanent infrastructure. Although he does encourage voters to read both manifestos and see which they prefer.

One of the cornerstones of O’Herlihy’s manifesto is campus activity development. Unlike his opponent, who proposes larger-scale repurposing, O’Herlihy believes the University already has a lot of social spaces but thinks not all are utilised to their full potential.

When asked to give examples of how he intends to do this, O’Herlihy mentioned the TVs in the Smurfit common room. He proposed introducing some form of game devices that students could collect from a desk so “students can have something to entertain themselves in spaces”.

He also mentions the board games in the village whose maintenance has become neglected and outlines his hopes to improve this. “More attention needs to be paid to the spaces we have and what we can do with them”.

When asked why he hadn’t focused on these issues during his time in the role this year O’Herlihy claimed it was because he came into the position with the misconception that it was all about events. He acknowledged the importance of events but stated, “There is space in the budget to focus on the permanent stuff”.

He stated that this infrastructure could just be “simple stuff” such as the campus’ ping pong table and how this infrastructure could be improved with more variation in entertainment amenities. One example he highlighted was the three pool tables in the student centre, which he believes aren’t used fully, he proposes the replacement of one of these to give students more variation in activity.

O’Herlihy’s opposition highlights the importance of incorporating Smurfit in his manifesto but this is noticeably absent from O’Herlihy’s. When questioned about this he stated that this was because he found this year that the “best way to do that [incorporate post-grad students] was actually to collaborate with the Graduate Officer”.

Summarising on this point O’Herlihy remarked that the “students on Smurfit equally need us just as much as the ones on Belfield”. Probed further in relation to whether he believes he met the needs of Smurfit students this year O’Herlihy stated, “I would say it definitely improved”. He outlined how he has made more trips to the campus and is familiar with its layout and thus has more ideas to utilise the spaces. Expanding on these ideas he once again proposed incorporating game devices and other games into the Smurfit common room.

Questioned if his campus activity development plans are achievable within the budget O’Herlihy remarked, “I think it’s absolutely achievable because some of the consistent things are actually about keeping it small”.

Listening and incorporating is another core point of O’Herlihy’s manifesto. Asked how he has practiced that this year he referenced the sustainable fashion show. Outlining the student incorporation involved in this event with students from sustainability society, the campaigns forum and UCD fair fashion actively involved.

O’Herlihy also mentioned the planning for the UCD Ball and how “student voice needs incorporating into that”. Concluding on this point he determined, “Out of a college of 38,000 students you need to have more voices – not too many but just choose a nice balance”.

O’Herlihy plans to reach more students by putting “a new burst of life into the Entertainment Rep system”. Highlighting how he wants to flesh out the current six Entertainments forum member positions as more people are found throughout the year who want to promote events.

Another practical measure O’Herlihy proposes is creating a series of template documents that will be available from the SU which should make it easier for students to set up their own events. He also plans to make a book of “cheap and cheerful” activities that students can refer to if looking for event inspiration.

Another focus of his manifesto is event consistency, speaking on whether this has been improved under his leadership so far O’Herlihy referred to the ‘Drink and Draw’ sessions in the Village. He explained how he worked on consistency this year by ensuring events he saw a passion for would continue. After the initial success of the ‘Drink and Draw’ evening O’Herlihy continued to host them and incorporate the student voice to further improve them.

Speaking on why he thinks he should be re-elected, rather than have someone with a fresh perspective tackle the role, O’Herlihy explained “I went in with a fresh perspective last year and I know that it took the first good while for me to get on a straight path”.

Similar to his opponent, O’Herlihy believes the SU social media could be improved and believes he is suited for this task thanks to his experience as PRO for the windsurfing society and his work with the drama society.

Student talent is another point of O’Herlihy’s manifesto and he wants “more avenues for students to showcase their talents”. He has spoken to the Clubhouse manager about showcasing student music, and this idea was supported by the manager who wants a route for students to get involved.

You can vote for your preferred SU candidate, either online or on-campus, on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of April.