After no nominees contesting the role of graduate officer in the UCD Students’ Union executive elections, the upcoming By-Elections see 3 candidates on the ballot.

One candidate is a masters in Geopolitics and the Global Economy student, Marc Matouc, the current Class Rep for MA in Social Sciences/Law Stream and former Co-President of the Student Union at the American College Dublin. He faces Matt Amenda and Amit Wasnik in the race for the place on the 2022/23 UCDSU executive.

Below is the College Tribune’s interview with Matouc.

1. Why are you running for the role of Graduate Officer in the By-Elections? 

There are many reasons but, my main ones would be, to create a better more inclusive community post-covid, to create a social atmosphere that is far more exciting and up to standards similar to pre-pandemic times if not better, to represent graduate students as the best I can from someone who has experience in a representative role.

2. What made you want to run in the By-Elections?

I saw a very passive vibe in UCD when I joined (for obvious reasons to do with covid). However, I felt given the university’s great academic and social reputation and remembering that from the time I was doing the Leaving Cert. I felt that we, as students deserve a better time here especially now that restrictions have been lifted. I’d like to see a more vibrant college vibe with events and in-person engagement and a sense of normality return, fast – not until after we graduate.

3. Do you think UCD provides enough support to graduate students

I think there is support there but, I think there’s serious room for improvement.

4. What is the strongest part about your manifesto, in your own opinion?

I think my first point and slogan “Collective Coalitional Action” directly deals with the issue of consistency, vision and achieving both long and short-term goals for the students. Ultimately, there’s only so much time I can be here as an individual, a level of generational consideration will push our collective values as students forward which is written in this point. We have a duty as Sabbatical Officers to work together on mutual points and leave a legacy that future students long after we depart can be inspired by and work on.

5. What skills do you think you have that will transpose well into the role of Graduate Officer?

I think I have skills from my experience as Student Representative for 2 years at my previous college, American College Dublin in which I directly spoke to faculty about student issues at monthly meetings. I was also the Student Union Co-Ordinator which saw campaigns go ahead such as a student packed Thanksgiving Dinner, Digital Detox and multiple zoom events (to cope with lockdown). I was awarded the Board of Trustees Medal 2021 and I served as a Peer Mentor there until last year. I am the Class Rep for MA in Social Sciences/Law Stream.

6. What do you think sets you apart from your opponents in the race?

Firstly, I’ve had a strong social media presence since the start of the month, it’s gaining a significant number of followers and I update it regularly to keep students informed. I can’t seem to find any campaign page of my opponents at least on Instagram as of this day (14/02/2022) to my knowledge. If you want to reach out to your base by online means it can be tremendously informative and accessible. Secondly, I’ve been consistent with this goal since the last round of elections in which I got 140/150 votes for nomination in less than a day and a half’s notice of the election. I’ve been to Smurfit regularly and engaged students at Blackrock to say hello to them and hear what they have to say. I haven’t seen that from my opponents.

7. Could you please provide a short, roughly 75-word bio and summary of the main parts of your manifesto.

  • Collective Coalitional Action- Stop bureaucracy, pass the achievements and good intentions onto the next generation of officers and work with my co-hordes on mutual grounds.
  • Synthesis of Undergrad-Postgrad life- Welcome an inclusive campus where there is no rift in attitude between the two – to push the envelope socially and academically after Covid too.
  • Representation – Speak up for the enclave of postgrad students about any issues they have, do my best with student-related issues.
  • Promote Student Well-Being, Health and Culture – Covid pandemic was terrible – I want to help fix any issues socially, mental-health-related or otherwise. I want to engage students face-to-face and get rid of social isolation on campus. I’d like to involve and encourage Irish culture too!
  • Passion and Transparency – I want to be straight-up and deal in good faith – I don’t want passive-aggressive vibes. This will be a new position for me I will learn as I go and share my challenges and achievements with you. 

Mahnoor Choudhry – Co-Editor

Conor Paterson – Co-Editor