This evening, Julie Smirnova was elected Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) communications and marketing officer. Smirnova won 89.4% of first preference votes on the first count.
In one of three uncontested races in this year’s TCDSU elections, there were 1337 valid votes cast, 1196 of which were Smirnova’s votes, with the remaining 141 votes to re-open nominations.
Smirnova is a Senior Sophister politics and economics student from Naas, originally born in Koryazhma, Russia. An active member of the College community, both inside and outside the union, Smirnova currently serves as TCDSU’s citizenship officer, and Public Relations Officer of Trinity St Vincent de Paul (VDP).
Speaking to Trinity News following her victory, Smirnova said she is “really really excited to work with next years team”. “Thank you so much to everyone who came out and voted this year, you’re all legends.”
In her manifesto, Smirnova has promised to increase students’ engagement with the union, expand sponsorship, improve the union’s transparency and update some of the union’s visuals.
Smirnova throughout her campaign about issues of engagement within the union. In her interview with Trinity News, Smirnova acknowledged that the issue has been brought up “in every single comms officer election”, and is “constantly reiterated, but then every year [it] stays the same”. She attributed the union’s focus on communication channels such as social media and their weekly email as “the main reason” for the issue not being rectified. “People aren’t really paying attention to those things, so you’re improving something that nobody is looking at,” Smirnova said.
Speaking about accessibility and transparency with Trinity News, Smirnova outlined several tactics for how she hopes to actualise these ideals. She cited information workshops, adding an accessibility tool to a streamlined TCDSU website, providing union publications in alternative formats, arranging sabbatical officer hours in locations with a lift, including “accessibility statements and clear descriptions to all SU events”, as well as adding “agendas and minutes to the [SU] newsletter”, while publishing summary infographics on social media.
In a poll of 574 students last week, Smirnova was favoured by 92.7% of decided voters with the RON vote at 7.2%.
53.3% said they knew how they planned to vote in this category, while 38.3% said they were completely undecided. 8.4% of respondents said that they did not plan to vote in the comms & marketing race at all.