Aiesha Wong is a half Irish-Chinese, final year law and politics student from Clarehall, she is also the uncontested candidate running for the Communications and Marketing officer of the TCDSU. She is focusing on three things; sponsorships, accessibility and transparency.
When asked why she has decided to run for the role, Wong said: “I felt like I had enough experience to be good at the job because I wouldn’t want to run for something that I didn’t think I’d be good at.”
Wong believes that the Communication and Marketing officer plays a crucial role in getting the TCDSU message across to students. Wong’s focus is on supporting students and making sure the policies of other union members are accessible and transparent to the student population: “You can have all of these amazing, great work that the union does, but then if no one knows what they’re doing, kind of defeats the purpose, but it would be nice to make it so everyone can see what actually is happening especially because we’re all members of the union so it’s important that we know.”
Another issue that Wong highlights is student discounts. “As a working class woman,I’ve used every single discount at the union email”. She wants basic toiletries to be available to students for free: “No one should have to pay for sanitary products and I think this is a doable thing as well, because we’ve had sponsorships that do that.”
Wong also wants to ensure that every sponsorship that TCDSU has is “student based” and associated with things that students are interested in like energy drinks. Wong also pledges to create a handbook of all the sponsorships that TCDSU engage with available to the public if she becomes Communications and Marketing officer, explaining: “I want to make it so that you can just see it exactly on the website.”
When asked how she plans to secure further sponsorships for TCDSU Wong explained that she has plenty of experience pitching to large brands through her work as a freelance content creator. She wants to pitch Trinity as “a young and vibrant campus” that is “full of diversity”, she reckons this will be very attractive to businesses.
Wong also wants to partner with Trinity societies and publications in her role: “I think a lot of the engagement for campus life outside of lectures comes from either societies or publications. So it makes sense that the union should involve themselves a bit more collaboratively with those two bodies.” She says she will do this by promoting the “smaller publications” in the TCDSU email.
A big part of Wong’s manifesto is modernising the way that TCDSU relates to the student body. “In terms of like a industry perspective, we should be having a TikTok, you know, we should be doing more reels and stuff. And also, it’s just more accessible to people who can’t, you know, are visually impaired, maybe they need audio or something.” A large part of this “demystifying” process for Wong can be done through social media.
Wong also wants to include the agenda of every council meeting in the weekly email because “not everyone wants to read a big Google Doc”. Should Wong be elected, the format of the weekly email will change too, according to her “there’s a way to streamline that to make it more cohesive”. She hopes to include translations of the email in minority languages spoken in the university such as Irish and Mandarin.
When asked about her experience with activism, Wong prefaced the discussion with: “I’ll preface everything I’m saying with that I am a white passing woman. Even though I am Chinese, people perceive me as white.” However she noted that “because [she has] a lot of white privilege, it makes [her] very compelled to use it.”
“Whenever it comes to student racism, I often get impostor syndrome. Am I allowed to talk about this? But I think during Asian hate, I kind of came into it and I was like, I’m allowed to talk about it. I am Chinese. I am white. Like, why not just use both of them?” She highlighted that she “did a lot of campaigning, a lot of protesting, a lot of volunteer work, helping families who were impacted like people who were subject to hate crime”.can we a
Wong also discussed her extensive experience in Communications and Marketing. Having started out as a freelance graphic designer, she has worked for District magazine, and currently works with companies such as Diago as well as being a content creator and in-house designer for music festivals “All Together Now” and “Forbidden Fruit” . As well as all this, Wong has been the Public Relations Officer for the following Trinity societies and organisations; Trinity Arts Festival, Trinity Women in Law, DU Dance, DUPA (photography society), Trinity Law Society Outreach and Trinity Women and Gender Minorities Review.
Through her role as Communications and Marketing officer, Wong wants to break down a lot of the stereotypes surrounding the ‘type’ of people involved in student politics, saying “You don’t have to be a really political person to be involved in the the union, it’s like an everyday person thing.” To do this, Wong plans to “create more awareness about what the union does which also allows for more people to talk back if the union is doing something that they don’t want to see. I think it’s very easy, especially if you’re surrounded by similar people. Like everyone who runs for Class Rep, I feel like it can sometimes be quite homogenous. So to have information posted where anyone can comment, you can comment, even anonymously if you want it to, that’s where you get the most open and honest discourse.”
Despite Wong’s vision for the future, she is careful to acknowledge the hard work carried out by the current Comms and Marketing officer, Julia Smirnova, saying “I think Julie has done a really good job. Like there’s a lot of things that I’ve seen her done and I’m like, This is amazing. So there are things that I want to keep up what she’s doing like she’s doing some no union workshops, and like sponsors she has and stuff I think like that’s a great”
Though Wong’s race is uncontested, she must still earn 50% of the vote or else nominations will be reopened. But Wong hopes that through her extensive experience in the field of communications and marketing as well as her vision to update and shake up the long-existing formula, it won’t come to that.