Following confirmation of the UCDSU nominations for the sabbatical elections for 2022, it has been revealed there will be just one contested race for a position on the UCDSU executive for the 2022/23 college year.

The College Tribune spoke to Darragh Kane O’Toole about his campaign launch and plans. Kane O’Toole is currently the UCDSU disability campaign coordinator and auditor of the UCD Philosophy Society.

Why are you running for the position of Education officer? I am running for the UCDSU education officer as student voices matter, and I believe I can make a difference that will benefit UCD students. I know ucd can make students’ lives better and I want to help students take advantage of all ucd services available. 

What approach do you intend to bring to the role of Education officer? My vision is 3 key undertakings I believe will add to an overall better UCD educational experience. 

  • I want to work with student groups in UCD like careers network, UCD schools, The library and Access as much as possible to improve and add to the services offered to students, such as headshots, skills training events and lecture recordings.
  • To create a central document and event series about the frequently asked and common UCD issues is a key part of my vision for the role. 
  • I want to make a move to advertise and engage more in person be it through lecture addresses or the classic coffee stand to be seen and approachable around campus is important.

What are your plans for campaigning? Do you intend to take an in-person approach if it is allowed by the returning office? I will be campaigning in person as much as possible, lecture addresses, talking to societies, just floating around UCD introducing myself to more people and listening to the student body. Being approachable is important to me as it can be hard for students to interact with UCDSU. I will also be running an interactive social media campaign hoping to encourage students to reach out and tell me what improvements they want done in UCD. There will also be memes.

You are currently the UCDSU disability campaign coordinator and auditor of the UCD Philosophy Society, how do you think this experience can translate into the sabbatical role? I think as much as any experience can translate into a role as unique as sabbatical role in the UCDSU. I currently sit on 2 equality diversity and inclusion committees (EDI) for neurodiversity and Disability as the Disability campaign officer which has been a very informative experience. The biggest decisions in UCD happen on committees and the experience of being on them has allowed me to settle in and express myself confidently at committees like the one’s education spends much of their time on. I believe this will serve me well as sabbatical time is often spent on committees. As disability co-ordinator, I have organised an event on Monday the 21st about what is neurodiversity as part of neurodiversity celebration week. I’m proud of this event and hope to see ucd students at the event in the ucd global. I have as auditor of Philosophy Society ran many events and this is something Id like to bring into the education role. We have run 3 events almost every week sometimes even 4 on a wide variety of different topics. This has helped me become more organised and efficient at planning which I know will stand for me throughout my career. I have practised discussion and dialogue under the duress of 1 million Scoville’s, I think this means I can perform under pressure. 

Could you please provide a short, roughly 75-word bio and summary of the main parts of your manifesto? I want to help students by informing them about what ucd has to offer and how they can make the most of their education in ucd, Things like structured electives, options if you fail a module, reducing module related expenses, improve the career events so it’s not just a sales pitch and to lobby for better teaching and learning practices such as lecture recordings.

Conor Paterson – Co-Editor

Additional Reporting: Hugh Dooley – News Editor