Six students at Trinity College were voted into sabbatical positions last night, many in close races.
TCDSU elected six sabbatical officers after two weeks of campaigns last night. The counting of votes was held at the Mont Clare hotel in Dublin and ran until almost 2am last night.
Candidates for President, Welfare and Equality, Communications and Marketing and Entertainment ran in hotly-contested elections. The Union also announced the results of three referendums on water charges, student charges and an increased sports centre fee.
TCDSU rejected a proposition to lobby against water charges by 54%. As expected, 79% of those who voted said “yes” to lobbying against student charges. The final referendum was on the issue of raising the fee for sports centre membership, which was defeated by 58% of votes.
President-elect Lynn Ruane, the current TCDSU student parents officer, beat off competition with 43% of the vote. Ruane ran on the platform of access and equality for all students and her campaign was unorthodox and refreshing for many.
Noteworthy incidents include her tearing up for her own manifesto at an event in order to make a point about actions, not words. Ruane is the first female TCDSU president to be elected in twelve years and is said to, “still be taking it all in”.
Katie Cogan was elected ENTS officer after an extremely close race, beating out candidate Conor Parle by few votes. Like Ruane, Cogan makes history as the first ENTS officer in fourteen years. Often considered a “lads” position on the SU sabbatical team, Cogan told The University Times last night that, “this was for the bitches”.
Uncontested candidates Molly Kenny and Edmund Heaphy were elected with 88% of the polls, to the positions of Education Officer and University Times editor respectively. The editorial position is a new one to TCDSU this year.
The other new position of Communications and Marketing officer was filled by Aifric Ní Chriodáin who beat out Jemma O’Leary in what was considered one of the more acrimonious races. Ní Chriodáin, who hopes to bring corporate sponsorship to the Union in order to alleviate student hardship, was elected with 61% of the vote.
In an extremely close-run race, history student Conor Clancy was elected to the position of Welfare and Equality officer by a slim margin of just over three hundred votes. Welfare and Equality proved to be the most contested race this year with five candidates running for the position.
The election of Ruane, Kenny, Ní Chriodáin and Cogan see a groundbreaking change in the makeup of the TCDSU sabbatical officers, with more women on the team than ever before. This has been partly due to a push by current TCDSU Education Officer Katie Byrne to encourage women in leadership across TCD.
Photo: Lynn Ruane for SU President/ Facebook