Following a majority ‘Re-open Nominations’ vote prevailing in the UCD Students’ Union executive elections, the upcoming By-Elections are seeing significantly more contested races and candidates on the ballot. The Ents Officer role is now facing a contested race between Ciara Moroney, a final year Pharmacology student and Co-Auditor of FoodSoc, and Josh Kerr Hanratty, a second year Irish and French student and the Union’s former LGBTQ+ Campaigns Co-Ordinator.
Below is the College Tribune’s interview with Moroney.
- Why are you running for the role of Ents Officer in the By-Elections?
Being RON’d in the executive elections has not wavered my eagerness to continue to improve UCD Student Life!! As a student, I know how important a fun college experience is, and how it feels to miss out on that, so I’m eager to make UCDSU events bigger, better, and more inclusive now that restrictions have been lifted. I have a passion for organising events and I’d love to continue this next year. I’m driven, committed, and having listened to students the last 2 weeks, I know that I’m the perfect candidate for this position.
- What are UCD students lacking in the Ents part of being a college student right now?
After getting the opportunity to speak with students during campaigning, what I’ve heard is that students are missing connectivity. Lots said how they haven’t met many people from their course, or the opposite on not knowing anybody outside of their course. I think there’s a big issue with connecting with new people, especially after the pandemic. I know my social skills were a bit rusty when I came back! This is something I plan on tackling if elected next year.
- What is different in your campaign for the upcoming by-elections from the executive elections?
There are a few slight changes to my campaign for the by-election! I believe I have a strong manifesto, of which every point is doable next year. What has really changed is that I’ve listened to students after the last voting and think that increased diversity is essential for the SU. I want to hold more events during Rainbow Week to make it bigger and better (I’ve had a LOT of people say they want a UCD Drag Race!), a sustainable fashion show, and more gigs on and off-campus, having a Dublin University collab event and wayyy more! Additionally, this time around I want to emphasise how I wish to involve the Smurfit campus of students in Ents events! Their inclusion in student life is just as important as those in Belfield.
- What is the strongest part about your manifesto, in your own opinion?
It’s hard to say, as a lot of the points marry themselves together. I think the ENTS for All and working WITH students points are strong contenders. Over the last couple of weeks, the student voice has been heard loud and clear, and this type of feedback and participation is what I’d like to run with throughout the year. Additionally, increasing the opportunities for different groups in UCD to feel comfortable to be able to attend events, and also feel safe to be themselves at events is important to me.
- What skills do you think you have that will transpose well into the role of Ents Officer?
There are a few! With being involved in FoodSoc, and especially as Auditor, I’ve picked up different skills along the way. Without sounding too full of myself, these include leadership skills, organisational skills, the ability to effectively communicate with staff and collaborators, and the ability to hear constructive criticism! I’m also a quick thinker, and there’s been instances at events, one of the most recent being the Domino’s Ball, where executive decisions needed to be made instantly so I know I can handle the pressure.
- What do you think sets you apart from your opponent in the race?
Apart from the experience I’ve gained from planning and putting on events every week in UCD, I think what sets me apart is my committed attitude toward the campaign for the by-election. I’ve put myself out there to people in UCD and have had some great conversations about what Ents is to the students.
7. Could you please provide a short, roughly 75-word bio and summary of the main parts of your manifesto.
Why should you vote #Ciara4Entz? I’m heavily involved in student life as Auditor of FoodSoc; meaning I know events! My goal for next year is to work WITH students. It’s clear there needs to be more integrative and interesting events on campus. I want to strengthen the community feel on campus, and hold more inclusive and accessible events in doing so.
If you want to see increased accessibility on campus, the revival of the social buzz, the introduction of a RAG Week, more opportunities for cultures and the LGBTQ+ community to express themselves at events, and an active engagement with what ENTS is, vote #Ciara4Entz number 1 so I can put on greater, safer and more fun enjoyable events in UCD for YOU!