Campaigning in Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) sabbatical officer elections began yesterday with Dining Hall hustings. For the next week and a half, the 10 candidates will be making their cases to students both online and on campus.
Of the six elections, three are uncontested, meaning only one candidate is running in them. In those races as in the contested ones, however, students will have the option to vote to re-open nominations, so uncontested candidates still participate fully in campaigning.
With a week to go until voting begins, here’s a rundown of the candidates and their platforms:
Rebecca Kelly is a Senior Sophister law student and current Gender Equality Officer of TCDSU. She is the current chair of Trinity Women in Law, a subcommittee of Trinity Law Society. Kelly’s platform includes advocating for College to make permanent the right to re-sit passed exams (which was temporarily introduced during the pandemic), and to work with Trinity to implement a “detailed & efficient” framework on sexual assault. She also plans to lobby to make all course materials available online permanently and to promote the Irish language on campus.
Gabrielle Fullam is currently in her final year as a politics, philosophy, economics and sociology (PPES) student. Fullam is the current Ethnic Minorities Officer of TCDSU. She has been involved in Trinity Publications, and is the current Co-editor of Icarus magazine, and Editor-in-chief of Trinity Women and Gender Minorities’ Review. Fullam’s campaign promises include pushing College to fully fund the Science Gallery and to re-open the SU Café. She also wants to work with College to establish a sexual misconduct policy and work on issues of gender and racial equality more generally.
Zöe Cummins is a Junior Sophister astrophysics student. She is currently the TCDSU Convenor for STEM students, as well as President of Trinity SUAS Society, an ambassador for Trinity Access, and a head mentor for Student 2 Student (S2S). Cummins wants to encourage College to introduce “modular billing”, allowing students to re-take individual modules without going off books or retaking the entire year. She also wants to publish information on the non-tuition costs of third-level education to allow students to plan their finances, and to lobby Trinity to make recordings of all lectures available online to students.
Welfare & Equality
Chloe Staunton is a Senior Sophister Business & Sociology student. She is the incumbent Disability Officer of TCDSU, and serves as the first ever Ambassador of S2S, as part of a new initiative by the society. She is also the Secretary of and a head mentor for S2S. Staunton’s campaign includes promises to make unconscious bias training more widely available to students and staff, and to create a reporting structure for instances of discrimination in College. She also wants to introduce peer-support structures for TCDSU part-time officers and to campaign for the distribution of more free menstrual products to students.
Cúnla Morris is a Senior Sophister student of modern Irish and history, a class representative, and an ordinary member of TCDSU Welfare Committee. They served as Oifigeach na Gaeilge of TCDSU during the 2018/19 academic year. Among Morris’ campaign proposals are to lobby for more training for staff at the Student Counselling Service, and to establish groups for students who are struggling socially due to disruptions caused by the pandemic. They also want to introduce mobility and sensory accessibility measures to Welfare & Equality office hours, and to offer office hours in both English and Irish.
Communications & Marketing
Julie Smirnova is a Senior Sophister PPES student. Currently, she is Citizenship Officer of TCDSU, a volunteer coordinator for Trinity St Vincent de Paul, and an S2S mentor. Smirnova’s campaign focuses on making the union’s services and internal workings more accessible and transparent. She also wants to do more collaboration with societies “outside of Ents/campaign events”, and to set up student and staff mutual aid and co-learning groups.
Ross Donnelly is a Senior Sophister computer science and business student. Donnelly was a previous Student 2 Student (S2S) mentor in the academic year 2020-21. Donnelly’s campaign includes promises to make Ents events safer including by organising bus services back to Halls and campus, and by using venues that cater to students’ sensory needs. He also wants to work alongside societies and clubs, both to improve Ents events and to promote smaller societies and clubs.
Nadia is a Junior Sophister computer science student. She has served as a class representative for computer science for two years, and helped to organise STEM Ball. Nadia wants to ensure student safety by ensuring there are sufficient female bouncers/first aid personnel on nights out and by introducing drug testing kits to Ents events, including Trinity Ball. She also wants to organise events such as second-hand clothes sales, and celebrations of Eid, Chinese New Year, and other holidays.
Max Lynch is Junior Sophister engineering student. He has been involved with DUDJ, Trinity’s digital arts society, for several years, and is the Captain of Trinity Surf Club. Lynch wants to focus on safer nights out, including information sessions for students on clubbing in Dublin and giving first-responder training to Ents personnel. He also wants to work with the Ability Co-op and the Environmental Officer to ensure Ents events are both accessible and sustainable.
Mairead Maguire is a Junior Sophister history and political science student. She currently serves as the University Times’ Deputy Editor, having taken over after the previous deputy editor resigned in November. Maguire wants to introduce mentorship programmes for LGBTQ+ students and students with disabilities to help get them involved in the paper, and to organise more social events via the appointment of an “ents editor”. She also wants to get more “casual staff writers” involved in the paper to make it more accessible to students who have less free time available.
Additional reporting by Shannon Connolly, Grace Gageby, Kate Henshaw, Bella Salerno, Sarah Emerson, Jamie Cox and Connie Roughan.