A campaign to have nominations re-opened for the position of Engineering and Computing Faculty Representative is underway, as voting opens in DCU today.
The RON campaign is being run by class rep, Ben Mc Mahon, who hopes to provide more choice in his faculty election. Currently Emilio Williams Doran is running uncontested for the role.
RON stands for re-open nominations and is a choice that is offered along with each Executive position during elections. If RON gains enough votes, nominations for the position in question are re-opened and the campaign process begins again.
According to Mc Mahon, “RON says we want more choice or we’re not happy with the choice that we have. It’s not a reflection on who’s running.”
“That’s something I’d stand by anyway. I wouldn’t want to be running uncontested. I’d want, if anyone was even half interested, to stand up and take the gauntlet. Competition betters both candidates.”
Mc Mahon is running the RON campaign in hopes of providing a race endowed with more candidates for his faculty to choose from, as well as in his own self-interest. McMahon originally intended to run for the position of Faculty Rep himself, but missed the manifesto submission deadline by just fifteen minutes. If nominations are re-opened, he, as well as any other student in the Engineering and Computing faculty, will be able to put themselves forward.
“My RON campaign (represents) both voting for the democratic option and voting for me,” he said.
“At the end of the day, there’s no point having the election if you don’t have the choice. And RON not being this option that’s pushed makes it an artificial choice, in the sense.”
“The biggest issue I see with it is that people don’t know what it means and people don’t want to know what it means. They’re kind of happy just to pick the guy on the card.”
The race’s uncontested candidate, Emilio Williams Doran, said that while he understands Mc Mahon’s position, he believes the Returning Officer was correct in her decision to exclude him from the race because of his late submission.
“Although I sympathise with his situation, I feel the returning officer was correct in her decision and that there needs to be deadlines to manifesto submissions. I offered to Ben, that I would add his manifesto to mine and we could work together to achieve it, he declined and asked me to step down so he could run,” Doran said.
“I relayed what he asked to all those who nominated me and my campaign team. Their reaction was I was their preferred candidate and that my experience, demeanour and objectives were the basis of their decision to nominate me. One of my team said that there will be hard deadlines during the position of faculty rep of which they will have to adhere.”
Mc Mahon’s campaign is the only one of its kind being run in this year’s elections. While a RON campaign can be run by anyone, Mc Mahon admits that RON will always begin on the back foot.
“When you run a campaign, you are a candidate except you get none of the benefits. You don’t get printing credit, you don’t get a lot of things. You’re not a person, but also you are a person in the sense that all the rules apply to you as if you were.”
RON campaigns must comply with the same deadlines and regulations as regular candidates, but are not represented at hustings.
“I would like to see a RON vote win,” he said.
“It’s probably the fairest way of doing it in terms of letting people have a choice.”
Image Credit: Rebecca Lumley/ DCU Loop