Members of the students’ union Oversight Commission (OC) will fulfil the duties of the secretary to the Electoral Commission (EC) in light of the Education Officer’s candidacy in the elections.
Zöe Cummins will take annual leave from her role as Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Education Officer for the duration of the Sabbatical campaign period in which she is a candidate for President.
Ordinarily, the role of EC secretary is fulfilled by the Education Officer, as specified in TCDSU election rules.
In a statement to Trinity News, Chair of the EC Emma Gallagher said that it has been “working closely” with the OC to “redistribute the workload” for the election period.
The OC is the union body responsible for monitoring the union’s policy and mandated obligations.
Addressing her temporary leave from the role of Education Officer this afternoon, Cummins said: “I will have a comprehensive out-of-office reply which will outline the most appropriate place for a student to direct their queries. Every student will have someone to direct their query to which will be outlined in the out-of-office response.”
She added that there is no committee on which she sits which will be left without a student representative during her absence: “I have met and briefed all the student reps who will be attending their meetings without me and am very confident in their ability to effectively and passionately represent their constituencies.”
The secretary of the EC is a non-voting member of the body, responsible for minuting its meetings and for communicating with candidates for various reasons.
The role of the secretary was significantly reduced this year, with two thirds of previous references to the role removed from the 2023 election regulations.
Speaking to Trinity News at the time, Gallagher said that this was done to allow “for current sabbatical officers to be able to run [again] with a bit more ease”.
Election rules specify that the secretary will read out candidates’ names after the close of nominations, though this was instead done by Gallagher as chair.
Campaigning in this year’s Sabbatical elections begins at 4pm this afternoon with Dining Hall Hustings.
Voter registration will close on Monday, February 27 at 5pm, with the voting period scheduled from Tuesday, February 28 at 10am until Thursday March 2 at 5pm. Election results will be announced that evening.