So if you don’t know what USI Husting is, it’s a Student Council meeting where the focus is on candidates running in the USI elections, come forward and aim get support of DITSU to be elected during USI Congress. Each candidate stands up, explains why they would like to be elected and finally, council members decide who they would like to support at Congress. Remember, as this is for USI, these students are from various colleges, not DIT.
Unfortunately one candidate pulled out, and many could not attend therefore they sent videos instead.
Each candidate had 3 minutes to speak, followed by being asked questions by council members.
The order went as followings, the candidates for;
- Vice President Irish Language (1 candidate)
- Vice President Academic Affairs and Quality Assurance (1 Candidate)
- Vice President Campaigns (1 candidate)
- Vice President Dublin Region (2 candidates)
- Vice President Equality and Citizenship (2 candidates)
- Vice President Welfare (4 candidates)
- President (1 candidate)
Before the meeting began, the candidates handed out their manifestos to everybody who attended. Now as each of these manifestos can be found on the USI website, I will not take you through each and every one of them. However, I will tell you about who was elected to be supported by DITSU at Congress, and a little bit about them.
VP Irish Language
With even her campaign poster being primarily in Irish, and having begun the first half of her speech in Irish, it is clear that Aoife has a passion for the Irish language. From NUI Galway, the VP Irish Language is a first time ever fulltime position. She has already worked with the Irish society to have events for Irish speakers, and she looks forward to hopefully bringing in support for students who would like to reconnect with the Irish language. She wants to make it easy for those interested to be able to utilise the language as much as possible, such as provide support for students who would like to complete their dissertations in Irish.
VP Academic Affairs & Quality Assurance
Oisin is the current VP in this area, and he is hoping to get re-elected. He has already had many achievements such as successfully lobbying for colleges including you in all aspects of decision making if you have a QQI and lobbied the Department on the need for fee regulation, for both postgrad and non-EU students.
Michelle’s main focus is the fight for higher education and the fight for student accommodation. Her aim is to better the higher education experience for all USI members. Currently, she has been working as VP of the Southern Region in USI so she too comes with experience. She would be passionate and dedicated in the role of campaigning and getting students’ voices heard.
VP Dublin Region
Colm is local to Dublin, having gone to both primary and secondary school, as well as now attending Trinity College. No stranger to the role of working with students, he has been both Chair of Council and Chair of Electoral Commission, as well as oversaw the TCDSU Sabbatical Officer Elections in 2016. If voted for the Dublin Region role, he would work to implement effective strategies for successful campus engagement. He would aim to interact with students as much as possible. He would also continue his involvement with the Grassroots Campaign, and focus on civic engagement and voter registration.
VP Equality and Citizenship
Aisling may sound familiar to you; she is currently the VP for the Dublin Region, having represented over 80,000 students from various colleges. She has already been at the forefront of campaigns for improving transgender healthcare, gender neutral bathrooms and many more. She has worked closed with sabbatical officers as well as students to bring about the most effective change. Elected in this position, she hopes to bring about change nationally.
Rachael was the current VP for Welfare in USI, so she already has her fair share of experience in the role. She has been working on behalf of students since 2011, which, in her manifesto, she calls having been a privilege. Some of her work has involved working with training over 100 students in Mental Health First Aid, securing more funding for mental health, and campaigning.
Siona is no stranger to working within USI. She has already previously been VP for Welfare and VP for Equality in Maynooth SU for two years. She has also been part of governmental oversight groups and has been on various committees such as National LGBT+ Youth Strategy, High Level Group on International Education and so many more. Siona is very passionate about taking more action, always challenging. The higher education funding is a bit part of her manifesto. She is looking forward to make USI better.
Voting will take place during USI Congress, as well as when the winners will be announced so stay tuned!