In a change of position, Muireann Kane, the sole Communications and Marketing candidate in the Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) elections, has set up a campaign Facebook page, in response to criticism from students and the establishment of a Re-Open Nominations (RON) campaign against her.
Kane’s decision to only use her personal Instagram for online campaigning sparked concern over the accessibility of her campaign, and was one of several issues raised against her at the election hustings on Tuesday. Candidates typically establish campaign-specific pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, although are under no obligation to do so.
In a video interview with Trinity News, conducted this afternoon, Kane floated the possibility of establishing a campaign Facebook page. “If some people did feel more comfortable with a Facebook page in terms of reaching me, then absolutely I will set that up for them for their sake,” she said. She also urged students to contact her over email if they did not have an Instagram.
Kane also faced tough questions on her campaign methods and suitability for the Communications and Marketing Role at Tuesday’s Council hustings. It was noted that Kane’s manifesto may be inaccessible to visually impaired students. She responded that she was “of the glasses persuasion”, to which a student suggested that she was “dismissive” of the issue. Kane said that she would education herself on visual accessibility.
A representative from the RON for TCDSU Comms campaign, which was established yesterday evening, said that a RON vote “would be best for the whole student body”. Students behind the RON campaign said they were concerned the Communications and Marketing race was being “neglected”. “We need an election, not a coronation,” a representative said.
In Trinity News’ video interview, Kane said that the establishment of the RON campaign was “crazy” and she “didn’t expect that at all, specifically when the reason behind it did seem to be that I was an uncontested candidate.” She said that “seems to be a fundamental flaw, seeing as there are two other uncontested candidates, who have no RON going against them”.
“They said it was because my disuse of a Facebook page, which I had explained before that I chose not to use for the sake of my campaign. I never made a point of saying that if I were to be elected Comms and Marketing Officer that I would disregard the TCDSU Facebook page.”
To illustrate her reasoning, she told Trinity News: “I put up a story on Facebook at it got 27 views in six hours. I don’t see this as adding to my concentrated efforts, whereas on Instagram it had 1,400 views.”
Kane received a minor strike this evening. “Someone stuck my flyers up on the back of the door in one of the men’s toilets today. Only one member of my campaign team would use the men’s toilets and he was either with me or in labs, so it wasn’t anyone on my team and seems to have been rather malicious,” she said.
Kane and the RON for TCDSU Comms had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.