The candidates for the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) officer board for the 2013/14 academic year have been announced.
The positions to be filled are: President, Vice President for Academic Affairs & Quality Assurance, Vice President for Welfare, Vice President for Campaigns, Vice President for Equality& Citizenship, Vice President for the Border, Midlands & Western Region, Vice President for the Southern Region and the Vice President for the Irish Language.
All positions are full-time, paid roles with the exception of the position of Vice President for the Irish Language which is a part-time voluntary role.
The elections will take place from the 25th to the 28th March at the annual USI Congress which will take place in the Carlton Shearwater Hotel in Ballinasloe.
Votes are cast on behalf of member Unions’ student bodies via nominated delegates from each member Union. Each member Union is granted a minimum of two delegates and one further delegate for every 1,000 members (or part thereof). Hustings events will take place across the country over the next few weeks.
A feature of these elections is the inclusion of the option to “re-open nominations” on the ballot paper. This option can be an issue for uncontested candidates, as in 2011 when Trinity Students’ Union officer Jennifer Fox was defeated despite being the only person running for the now renamed position of Education Officer.
This also means that despite Joe “Joxer” O’Conner, the current President of Galway-Mayo IT SU, being the only candidate running for the position of USI President, his success is not guaranteed.
There are three other positions that will go uncontested this year. Denise McCarty and Laura Harmon are both the sole candidates in their campaign for the roles of Vice President for Welfare and Vice President for Equality & Citizenship respectively, while current IT Carlow SU Vice President Ciara Guinan has no opposition in her bid to become the Vice President of the Southern Region.