A campaign has been launched calling on students to vote to reopen nominations (RON) in the Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) presidential race.
Luke Smyth, a member of the campaign, gave a statement to Trinity News, saying: “We are an assorted and unaffiliated group of students who are disheartened and frustrated by the lack of diversity amongst candidates for President. This is not a negative campaign or a campaign against any particular candidate, rather it is a campaign to convey the message that we can and should have a more diverse and inspirational field of candidates.”
The campaign was launched on the basis of the “massive apathy” and “disenfranchisement in the student body toward the SU elections and the SU generally”. The campaign stated that the “disenfranchisement discourages people who would not fit the mould of a traditional candidate (women, queer people, ethnic and racial minorities etc.) from running”.
Smyth stated that the campaign is seeking students to vote RON to “show that they are frustrated with the mediocrity and homogeneity of Presidential candidates,” and to “show that they want an SU led by a person of passion, integrity and with strong experience in campaigning”.
Campaign notices were posted across different groups on Facebook over the weekend, which called on students to “vote to reopen nominations to show students want diversity, representation, competence and passion in their presidential candidates”. A member of the campaign told Trinity News that they will be giving out flyers to students to inform them of the campaign.
This follows the release of the Trinity News poll showing that presidential candidate and final year Law student Sean Ryan is leading the polls by 37% with Shane De Rís his closest competitor receiving 27% of the vote. Michael McDermott, the final year nanoscience student received 20.6% with Paul Molloy, Hist auditor at 12.5% of the vote.
Additional reporting by Aisling Grace.