Aimee Connolly, the sole candidate for Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Education Officer, has been elected on the first count with 83% of the vote.
A total of 2,879 votes were cast for Connolly, out of a total valid poll of 3,467. There were 200 spoilt ballots and 588 votes to re-open nominations (RON).
A poll conducted by Trinity News before the election had Connolly winning the race with 72% of the vote and 27% voting for the RON option.
Connolly, the current chair of DU Amnesty, ran her campaign with a focus on student engagement, employability, and support. Among her campaign promises were a mandate review, the introduction of a TCDSU Education Facebook page and the implementation of “convenor catch-ups”.
She has voiced support for focusing the Union’s attention on higher education funding next year, commenting: “Higher education and funding is something we need a good push on, because support has slowly started to dwindle in the past months.”
Connolly has also proposed the introduction of a “module fair” which she hopes to pilot next year, involving lecturers and past students of the module. Criticising the lack of information provided on course modules, she said: “What you get is a module outline that says the learning outcomes and the spread of coursework, and you end up going into courses almost blind.”
Connolly will continue the work of previous Education Officers on the Trinity Education Project (TEP), which will see changes to Trinity’s academic structure such as a semesterised exam timetable and the introduction of Christmas exams.
The Senior Sophister BESS student was one of only two female candidates running in this year’s sabbatical elections and voiced her opinion on the matter in an interview with Trinity News earlier during the elections, stating: “[Women] are scared to put themselves forward, but [the SU] are moving in the right direction.”
Connolly is the current BESS Convenor and an associate trainer with the National Student Engagement Programme. She is also a former Campaigns Coordinator.
Expressing her delight upon being elected Connolly, speaking to Trinity News said, “I truly enjoyed campaigning and speaking with students over the past two weeks about their concerns. I am so looking forward to working with all of the Union’s representatives next year to improve the student experience.”
Regarding the earlier preferendum result which saw Option 3, that the SU should oppose the introduction of supplemental exam fees but support the introduction of modular billing, win, Connolly welcomed the result, saying: “I support the outcome of the preferendum. This result enables the SU to advocate for the best outcome for students. I will always oppose fee increases.”