Donal MacNamee, a Senior Sophister English and History student, has been elected Editor for the University Times (UT) on first the count. The race for the position was uncontested this year. MacNamee currently serves as UT’s Deputy Editor, having previously held the position of Sports Editor within the paper.
MacNamee was elected with 82.8% of first preference votes, or 2,686 votes. The option to re-open nominations (RON) received of 561 first preference votes, or 17.2%. Total valid poll was 3,247 with 154 votes deemed spoilt.
Amongst his manifesto policies, MacNamee plans to introduce a Community Engagement Team, corporate sponsorship and a contribute button to increase funding. He hopes to increase the paper’s accountability through the creation of open forum meetings, and also aims to increase the paper’s accessibility to all students. Holding College accountable has also been one of his biggest concerns throughout campaigning.
MacNamee has faced a lot questioning throughout his campaign on UT’s funding, following the €16,000 deficit the paper ran last year. Alongside seeking help from Trinity’s Alumni Office, MacNamee hopes to introduce systems similar to those implemented by other societies to secure funding. He gives examples of “the Phil and Law Soc, [who] have teams, [who] have structures that allow them to interact with the community”. He has also focused on increasing the paper’s revenue rather than making cuts. He has remained optimistic throughout his campaign about the paper’s financial viability, saying that “I’d be very shook by the idea that we wouldn’t be able to sort this out.
Commenting before the race MacNamee said: “I’m delighted by how the campaign went and feel very very humbled by the support I’ve received and the extent to which students have engaged with me in a tangible sense over the campaign. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that all goes okay tonight. I’d like to thank my campaign manager, Andy Keenan, without whose diligence, patience, and most importantly levity I would have struggled to run the same campaign.”
In polls conducted last week by Trinity News, it was predicted that MacNamee would be elected with 81.93% of the vote.
Current Editor, Eleanor O’Mahony, won her election last year with just 58.5% of first preferences, facing off joke candidate, Michael McDermott, who received 33.5% of votes.