A campaign to re-open nominations in the race for Commercial and Communications Officer has been launched by a group of students at University College Cork (UCC).
The race for Commercial and Communications Officer of UCC Students’ Union (UCCSU) is contested by sole candidate, David Condon. Four of the union’s six full-time officer positions are being contested by multiple candidates, with the other uncontested race being for the position of Education Officer.
Speaking to Trinity News, a spokesperson for the re-open nominations (RON) campaign outlined that the campaign is seeking to “help students realize that there are voting options besides allowing the one person running to almost automatically win the position, and also to re-open nominations to allow other candidates to run”. The spokesperson noted that the group of students have “specific concerns with the current candidate that we have highlighted across several platforms”.
With voting in the UCCSU elections taking place this week, the campaign believes that the RON vote is “viable”, adding that they believe that lack of student engagement with the union in recent years “will make this campaign more successful than RON campaigns in the past.”
On the RON campaign’s Facebook page, the main issue that the students behind the push to re-open nominations identify with Condon’s campaign is that they believe some of the promises that he is making fall under the purview of other officers.
For example, the campaigners argue that Condon’s promise to increase awareness of services like the Sexual Violence Centre fall under the role of the Welfare Officer.
Additionally, the RON campaign has rejected Condon’s proposal to push for a reform of UCC’s alcohol sponsorship policy, which would see him seek to lift a ban on sponsorship from alcohol brands for non-sports societies.
Muireann Kane, Communications and Marketing Officer-elect of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union, was also subject to a RON campaign opposing her election during campaigning in February. Kane received 51.4% of the vote, narrowly beating the option to re-open nominations, which received 48.6% of first preference votes. At Media Hustings, Kane called the RON campaign against her a “thinly veiled attack” given its focus on the uncontested nature of her race, despite two other races also being uncontested.