The current Welfare Officer for UCD Students’ Union, Molly Greenough is the first candidate to publically launch a campaign for UCDSU President, just two days before the start of the nominations process begins.

Greenough’s candidacy is contingent upon her securing nominations from students. This year, nominations for the sabbatical positions require candidates to collect 150 signatures from any registered students of UCD, however, candidates seeking election to the role of Graduate Officer will need to collect these signatures from graduate students. In previous years, this number was lowered due to lockdown from the covid-19 pandemic.

The College Tribune spoke to Greenough about the launch of her campaign,

Why are you running for UCDSU President?
“It might sound corny but I love UCDSU and the work it does for students. I decided to run for President because I believe I have the Union experience, the passion to hit the ground running, and the ability to be a strong leader. I really look up to the work of recent UCDSU presidents and hope to continue building on their successes. I have big shoes to fill, but I look forward to the opportunity to do so if elected.”

What direction would you like to see the Union take under your leadership? 
“Firstly, I’d hope to maintain political pressure and continue building the student movement here in UCD. For the past three years, UCDSU has really leaned into the political nature of these roles and worked to highlight the hardships students face in UCD and at a national level. I think the recent ‘It’s Not Me It’s U-CD’ was a massive demonstration of solidarity and understandable frustration with the UMT and Government— but I hope that it’s only the start of a larger student movement on campus.”

Greenough (left) featured here with UCDSU Campaigns Officer, Darryl Horan just before the ‘It’s Not Me It’s U-CD’ protest. Photo credit, Hugh Dooley, College Tribune.

“Buzzword I know, but I also hope to foster a sense of community here in UCD. For example, more collaborations with UCD societies and sports clubs; societies and clubs are a massive part of student life and I think we’d all have a lot to gain by working closely together. I also hope to demystify the SU to an extent, and ensure that students know exactly what we do and how we can support them.”

What are your plans for campaigning? Do you intend to take an in-person approach if it is allowed by the returning office?
“I hope to take a hybrid approach to campaigning, but would be focusing primarily on in-person elements if permitted by the returning office. Alongside a social media campaign, I hope to be on the ground speaking with students each day in the lead up to the election – lecture addressing, canvassing, and just generally speaking to students about what they want and need from their SU. My campaign is very much student-centred; I want to hear what students really want, and then see how I can best achieve this as UCDSU President.”

You spent the last year as the Welfare Officer for the Students’ Union, do you think this gives you an advantage over any candidates who do not have this experience?
“To be completely candid, yes, I do think my experience as Welfare Officer would give me an edge over other candidates. This is not to say another candidate couldn’t do a great job, but I have spent the past nine months working on the ground with students— hearing the range of issues that impact our students and seeing the repercussions of a UMT that prioritises commercialisation over student welfare on a daily basis. I’ve also gained confidence on boards and committees, established good working relationships with many units in UCD, and we have seen some wins (most recently the introduction of a consent subgroup). I have an in-depth understanding of the day-to-day workings of the Union, structures, etc. and hope to use my experience as Welfare Officer to support and lead the Union throughout the year. “

Hugh Dooley – News Editor