The countdown to this year’s University College Dublin Students Union (UCDSU) sabbatical elections has officially begun. This year’s election will once again be held online, with voting open between the 31st of March to the 1st of April 2021.

If you’re unsure who is in the running, or whose box you should tick, we invited the candidates two write a bio of who they are.

There are three contenders vying for SU President this year: Ruairi Power, Ed Leonard and Liam Coyle.

Ruairí PowerCandidate for President  

Ruairi Power UCDSU

“I’m from Clarecastle in Co. Clare and for the past year I’ve been working as the SU Welfare Officer.

I first got involved with the SU when I worked with the sabbatical team on coordinating the protests against rent increases on campus last year because I believe nobody should be priced out of studying at UCD.

I have experience of getting the job done, the vision of what’s needed and I’m asking for your trust to build a stronger, more democratic and transparent union.

My priorities are increased investment in student support services, affordability, accessibility and pushing for more transparency on decisions made by UCD management”

Ed LeonardCandidate for President  

Ed Leonard ucdsu

“I’m Edward Leonard. I’m 23, a final year Law with Politics student from Roscommon and running to become your next UCDSU President.

I’ve twice been a UCDSU class representative and I’m a former UCDSU Law College Officer. I’ve the experience and drive to ensure UCDSU does what it does best – represent students and make students’ lives better.

I want to increase student engagement; for UCDSU to be vocal on local and national issues; and to lobby for increased student supports. I’d highly appreciate it if you’d vote Leonard number 1. I’m ready to start Setting The Wheels In Motion.”

Liam CoyleCandidate for President  

“Hi, my name is Liam Coyle and I am 20 years old. I am from County Longford, right in the heart of rural Ireland.

I grew up on a farm and was very privileged to study Commerce at UCD, being one of only three students from my class to make it to Dublin.

I enjoy all things business and am currently in my final year at UCD. I want your vote to help UCD to better serve its students and to truly make it worthy of being Irelands best university.”

The 5 other sabbatical officer positions are uncontested this year.

Sarah Michalek – Candidate for Entertainment Officer

Sarah Michalek UCDSU

2020 ENTS Officer Sarah Michalek is seeking re-election for 2021 in an uncontested race.

“Hey! My name is Sarah Michalek and I’m re-running to be your Entertainments Officer! I’m 22 and finished my Masters of Psychological Science in UCD last year. 

I am re-running because I want to build on what I have achieved this year, do much more than I have been able to thus far as restrictions ease (hopefully sooner than later!) and I believe my experience from this year has given me important insight into the ins-and-outs of event management, both online and in-person!

I believe you should vote for me because of my experience and most importantly, because I care about the students and want to give them back the amazing experiences I was provided with during my time in UCD!”

Carla Gummerson – Candidate for Graduate Officer

Carla Gummerson is re-running uncontested for a second year as Graduate Officer. 

“My name is Carla Gummerson, I am 32 and from County Wicklow.

I have a bachelor’s degree in social sciences and a master’s degree in public policy. I am passionate about social justice, human rights and gender equality.

I was the auditor of UCD Mature Students Society for two years, which gave me very valuable skills to bring forward to the role I am in today, which is the role I am rerunning for the Graduate Officer role. I feel I still have more to give to this role, this is why I think people should vote for me. “

Molly Greenough – Candidate for Welfare Officer

Molly Greenough is the sole candidate competing for the position of Welfare Officer.

“My name is Molly Greenough and I’m running to be your next Welfare Officer. Originally from Massachusetts, I’m 21 and in my final year of Law with Social Justice.

I’ve been involved with the SU since second year when I was elected as class representative. I went on to act as Law College Officer and am the current Mental Health Campaign Coordinator.

I’m passionate about supporting students and fighting for better mental health services, affordable housing, and harm reduction policies. When I was at my lowest, the SU was there for me. With your number one vote, I will be there for you too.”

Darryl Horan – Candidate for Campaigns and Engagement Officer

Current AHSS Masters class rep Darryl Horan is the sole candidate vying for the C&E Officer.

“I’m Darryl Horan and I’m running for the C&E Officer. I’m running on a platform of building student power, I have two main priorities, continuing the orientation towards the issues most affecting students, fees, housing and issues arising from the Covid crisis.

As well as empowering students so that they become the vehicle to make this change, this requires the union to seriously ramp up engagement.

I’m 23 years old, I was up until recently working in McDonald’s and involved in Unite the Union, and I am studying masters in Global history. A vote for me is a vote to build student power.”

Aoife Bracken – Candidate for Education Officer

Aoife Bracken is seeking election as Education Officer.

“I am a 21-year-old final year Politics and International Relations student. My time as a class representative and my own personal experience with a past Education Officer are part of the reason I want to run this year.

College and its many rules and regulations can be incredibly confusing and I believe that the Education Officer is an important resource for students where they can ask questions and find support and guidance.

The next year will be a challenge as we hopefully begin to move back to in-person classes and I believe I will be a strong voice in pushing for a student-focused return.”

Follow The College Tribune for full coverage of the 2021 SU Elections.

Gemma Farrell – Assistant News Editor