Education Officer candidate Megan O’Connor receives minor strike

The candidate was sanctioned due to a post promoting her campaign in a class group

Education Officer candidate Megan O’Connor has been sanctioned due to a post promoting her campaign in a class Facebook group.

The student – not a member of O’Connor’s campaign team – posted in a class Facebook group promoting her campaign. Posting promotional material relating to candidates is against the rules of the Electoral Commission (EC), the body that oversees and regulates SU elections.

The EC issued the candidate for Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Education Officer a minor strike, banning her from online campaigning between 8pm and 10pm tonight. If a candidate receives more than three minor strikes, they will be struck off the ballot.

O’Connor told Trinity News that the post “was very well intentioned and an accident by a mature student who isn’t involved in campaigns, so there’s no real harm done”. 

An article published by the University Times stated that the sanction was issued because “a member of her campaign team was found canvassing online before the start of the campaign”. O’Connor said that this is “entirely incorrect…I don’t know where they got that from,” adding that the newspaper received the same information as Trinity News. The University Times have since updated the relevant article to correct the error. 

O’Connor, a fourth year nursing student, is the sole candidate for Education Officer. Her campaign began on Monday with the Dining Hall hustings. O’Connor’s campaign team has had a presence on campus since Tuesday, handing out flyers and talking to students alongside the other candidates. 

At the Dining Hall hustings, she outlined her plans for the union, including her plan to introduce a buddy system. She criticised “over assessment” and pointed to an unfairness in having coursework deadlines and exams in close proximity. At the Equality hustings on Tuesday, she discussed her proposals and opinions relating to students with disabilities, LGBT+ students and the Irish language. 

O’Connor will be attending the Media hustings – the third hustings of the campaign period – tomorrow at 7pm. The hustings will be co-hosted by Trinity News and the University Times. 

This article was updated at 8:50pm, February 19, to acknowledge the amendment made to the mentioned University Times article. 

Aisling Grace

Aisling Grace was the Editor-in-Chief of the 66th Volume of Trinity News. She was also formerly Online Editor and Deputy News Editor.