Annie Hoey was elected the new President of USI with 181 out of 207 votes, she was the only candidate running for the position.
Hoey who is the outgoing vice president for Equality & Citizenship said that the motions passed at the USI National Congress in Clare this week have set her with a strong mandate for the year ahead.
“The debate we’ve been having this week is about fairness, inclusivity and access to education so that will be my priority for next year. We want to make sure that education is open and accessible to those who want to avail of it as well as focusing on the motions that have been passed such as the decriminalisation of drugs and Repeal the 8th Amendment. I think we’ve a really strong mandate behind us now for a really interesting and exciting body of work to do on behalf of the student movement,” Hoey told The College View.
All officer positions were uncontested, except for the VP for Welfare role, which saw two candidates contest the position. Cian Power was elected with 106 votes, Aoife Ní Shúilleabháin, 97, with four people voting to reopen the nomination.
“I’m absolutely delighted it was a very tight win. I want to congratulate Aoife who ran an amazing campaign and thank congress as well. The first thing I want to do is get set with the yearly plans for the Student Union Training in the first semester. I want to see what the main priorities are with the general election especially pushing grants and accessibility to higher education protection at an internal level,” said Power.
Daniel Waugh was elected for his second term as Vice President for Campaigns with 187 votes, 19 votes were to reopen the nomination. “I’m delighted that there was such a strong backing for me and that my work done last year was recognised. Union development is something that I want to get started on as soon as possible. I really want to start working now against loans and fees and start lobbying the new government to make sure that there’s a reduction of fees by the government and that there’s no loan scheme introduced next year,” said Waugh.
Siona Cahill, was elected VP for Equality and Citizenship with 197 votes, 10 delegates voted to reopen the nomination.
“I have big shoes to fill from Annie Hoey but I think it’ll be an exciting year. The major thing is going to be the fact that we have a debacle in the government at the moment so we don’t know what way that’s going to pan out over the summer. So I think as an Officer Board we have to show strong leadership particularly in relation to fees and grants but for my own brief I really want to get a commitment to Repealing the 8th Amendment,” said Cahill.
Jack Leahy, was elected VP for Academic Affars with 189 votes,18 votes were counted to reopen the nomination.
“One of the real strengths of the Officer Board this year is the amount of high performing people in it. We’ve set ourselves a pretty ambitious agenda at congress this week such as important discussions on student partnerships and student engagement projects that we’re going to start immediately,” said Leahy.
Michael Kerrigan was elected VP for Border, Midlands and the Western Region with 61 votes, RoN receiving 0. Niamh Murtagh was elected to the post of VP for the Southern Region with 45 votes, 8 voted to reopen the vote. Maria Schaler was elected to the position of Vice President of the Irish Language. Schaler received 180 votes, 25 voted to reopen the nomination.
The USI National Congress takes place in Ennis County Clare this week. Delegations from universities from all over the country are represented.
Catherine Devine and Katie O’Neill.