Trinity College Dublin Student’ Union (TCDSU) International Officer Zaid Albarghouthi has been elected Vice-President (VP) for Campaigns of the Union of Students’ in Ireland (USI) at the union’s Congress today.
Albarghouthi received 50.25% of delegates’ votes in the first count in a four-way contested race.
Speaking to Trinity News after his win, Albarghouthi said it was an “honour” to be elected to the role and thanked his campaign team and the students’ unions who supported him.
“I ran for this role because of a certain frustration I had with the contradiction between the potential this organisation has for performing on issues that matter to all students, and the status quo. I think next year will see the Coiste Gnó dealing with the challenge of regaining the faith of students in Campaigns run by USI, based off the frustrations shared by the lack of further action after the USI walkout in October.”
He added: “This is a role that will have to build campaigns and run them to achieve better results for the national student body, and I have been long waiting for the opportunity to do this full-time.”
Chris Clifford, President of MTU Kerry Students’ Union, was elected USI President for 2023/24 on the second count, beating opponents Sai Gujulla and Patrick Curtin.
Following his victory, Clifford said that it felt “a bit surreal”, saying he hopes “to hit the ground running” and to deliver the change he has promised during his campaign.
“My top priority is to engage with the students’ unions around the country and to work on general student engagement – they go hand in hand really. I want to be radical about that,” Clifford added.
A Health and Leisure graduate hailing from Tralee, Clifford has served two terms as President of MTU Kerry Students’ Union, having previously served as Education Officer.
TCDSU delegates voted to re-open nominations (RON) in this race, following a ballot of its members.
Dublin City University Students Union’s (DCUSU) Muhammad Mubashar Saeed was elected VP for Postgraduate Affairs with 45.69% of first preference votes, beating Trinity’s Jeffrey Sardina who won 34.01% of vote, and Muhammad Sayyam Afzal, also from DCUSU.
Bryan O’Mahony of SETU Waterford SU was elected VP for Academic Affairs, while Colette Murphy from DCUSU was elected VP for Welfare.
James Curry of TUDSU will serve as Vice-President for Equality & Citizenship, with Kelda McManus of MTU Cork SU in the role of VP for the Southern Region and DCUSU’s Nathan Murphy as VP for the Dublin Region.
Although a single candidate had previously put themselves forward in both races, there were no remaining candidates for the positions of VP for the Border, Midlands and Western Region and Leas-Uachtarán don Ghaeilge (Vice President for the Irish Language). By-elections will be held for these positions at a later date.
This article was updated on April 5 to include a statement from Zaid Albarghouthi.