Are you interested in pretending to give a shit about campus politics that will realistically never have an effect on any aspect of either your university experience or your life in general? We here at The Turbine understand that being arsed to understand the SU elections can be quite a chore, so we’ve devised this handy guide to get you through those mundane forgettable conversations with your weird group project partner, or casual acquaintance that you know from that one class but would otherwise hesitate to socialise with!

image of a student being bored by the UCDSU elections - leaning back in his seat about to fall asleep. Image via Pexels by Cottonbro Studio.
image of a student being bored by the UCDSU elections – leaning back in his seat about to fall asleep. Image via Pexels by Cottonbro Studio.

We’ll start with a jargon guide. The SU elections are full of unnecessarily complicated abbreviations and terms so that they can feel important, so we’ve put together some of the main ones with definitions below:

SU Elections Jargon Guide:

Manifesto: Amalgamation of utterly unrealistic and unattainable goals presented in the form of a colour-coordinated Instagram post that took longer to design than it did to actually write.

Sabbatical: Paid Holiday

Union: Group of opinionated and argumentative individuals

Protest: The answer to everything

Student Accommodation: Insert unrealistic and unattainable solution here

Officer: Official sounding name for a person who may pop up on your Instagram feed from time to time to talk passionately about some niche nonsense that doesn’t affect 99% of students

Nominees: Friends and acquaintances of previous officers

Next, we’ll move on to the roles within the SU, what are they and what exactly do these roles entail?:

President: The winner of the biggest ego on campus every year is awarded this prestigious, yet ultimately meaningless role.

Education: Here to remind you that you are indeed attending UCD to gain one.

Welfare: Helpful for issues such as crossing the road or burning your tongue on a hot chocolate from Centra.

Graduate: Will give you a solid high five if you manage to complete your degree. Last year’s officer had a 98% high-five completion rate, and the latest candidates will be looking to repeat that level of consistency.

Entertainments: Available to book for small functions or children’s birthday parties. Usually able to do a range of cool card tricks.

Campaigns and Engagement: Will remind you every so often that the SU still exists.

There are also the college officers, but nobody really knows much or indeed cares much about them.

So, now that you know all of the buzzwords and all of the roles and their functions, it’s time to apply that knowledge to some conversation. We’ve compiled some conversation starters that are sure to make you the centre of attention in any room that nobody else is in. A top tip is to ask a question but then immediately provide your own opinion to assert your intellectual dominance:

’What do you think of the candidates for president this year? Personally, I feel that (Candidate A)’s presence within the union could really shake up the student housing situation given the goals laid out in their manifesto. We could really use someone who isn’t afraid to protest and agitate for some meaningful change around here you know?’

That’s it, you’re all caught up on the jargon of our very own glorified popularity contest, and you can now go out there and spread nuggets of unnecessary conversation, and come across as genuinely engaged in campus politics, all while winning intellectual brownie points from your peers.

Just don’t have these conversations with people operating heavy machinery.

Jack Nolnod – Turbine Editor