Eoin Hand has been elected Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) President this evening with 50.3% of votes on the first count, securing the win over fellow contendors Ryan Carey and Harry Williams. Hand, who received 1,269 first-preference votes, exceeded the quota on the first count by 8 votes.
Carey received the second highest number of votes with 713, or 28.3%, while Harry Williams received 444 votes, or 17.7%. The option to re-open nominations was given 95 first-preferences, or 3.8%
From Cashel, Co. Tipperary, Hand has no previous experience in the SU. During his campaign he emphasised a need for the TCDSU President to listen to students, in particular those disengaged from the union, who “go to lectures, eat lunch and go home”. He believes that “the ability to take criticism and solve problems” will allow him to achieve his aims as President.
A poll by Trinity News conducted last week indicated that Hand was set to win the election with 49.4% of first-preference votes, with Carey predicted to come in second at 31.4%, and Williams and re-open nominations (RON) receiving 16.9% and 2.4% in the poll respectively.
After the result, Hand told Trinity News: “I’m really delighted that the students have chosen me to be their representative and I promise I will do them proud. I’m shocked, I’m so shook, it’s the highlight of my life so far. I will work very, very hard to ensure that what I promised, I actually follow through. Thank you so much to all the students who voted, everyone who campaigned.”
He continued: “It’s a team, everyone has pulled their weight, and we got there. I’ll represent everybody, no matter what they voted. Once I’m in office I will try do my best to appease all students in every manner, every challenge and every possible way they would like to be represented.”
Hand, a Senior Sophister Music student, ran a campaign focused on issues students face on a “day-to-day basis”, promising to provide more student spaces and microwaves. On the politicisation of the SU, Hand occupied a middle ground between Ryan Carey’s support for grassroots campaigns and Harry Williams’ exclusive focus on local issues. Throughout the campaign period he insisted on “putting your own house in order” before looking to national issues. Initially describing himself as “quite apolitical”, he later clarified that this referred his disillusionment with national political parties.
Hand has promised to work with College and the USI on rapid HIV testing, PrEP and drug related services. He also wants to create a database of “friendly” landlords for students seeking accommodation.
Before running for TCDSU President, Hand was best known as co-director of the Trinitones and musical director of the upcoming run Jesus Christ, Superstar by Trinity Musical Society.