Engagement and nationally funded education, McHugh runs for USI, following disaffiliation vote

Callum Lavery

McHugh is the only DCU student entering the USI elections this year and is running uncontested for the position of VP. Image credit: DCUSU

DCU Students’ Union Vice President for Education and Placement, Craig McHugh has embarked on a campaign to become the USI’s next VP for the Dublin Region.

McHugh is the only DCU student entering the USI elections this year and is running uncontested for the position of VP.

The former president of the Irish Secondary Students Union (ISSU) says that engagement, accommodation and publicly funded education are his main goals of his campaign and wants to draw on his experience at election season.

McHugh said: “Three things; publicly funded education, engagement and student accomodation.”

“For the last five years I’ve been involved in the student movement through my role as president of the irish secondary level students union and contibuting to the campaign for publicly funded education, and I have always been invested in that and a passion for the national student movement particularly around funding and fees.”

“I has always been an aspiration of mine to contribute to the national student movement,” he said.

“Because of fortunalities within DCU on issues such as direct provision with the #SaveOurSheperd campaign and #ShanowenShakedown we have a much stronger connection with the national student movement.”

McHugh is running unopposed for the position, however he must achieve enough votes to be elected, with students being given the offer to reopen nominations. McHugh said that he does not think that students are showing disinterest in the union and that his unopposed campaign is a coincidence.

“The role is always contested, fun fact, since its inception it has always been contested by a DCU student,” he said. “I wouldn’t put it down to a lack of engagement rather that a matter of circumstance.”

The role of VP for the dublin region is to serve as a go between for the area and the USI, as well as running local council meetings, organising campaigns for local issues and conducting training events,, addresses and social media for the area.

Current VP for the Dublin Region Colm O’halloran said: “The role encompasses many different areas from supporting USI Campaigns on a national stage to supporting Dublin Students’ Unions on a local stage. I’ve been involved in housing activism and #RaiseTheRoof campaigns as well as supporting DITSU with their campaigns for better library hours, ITBSU for Safer Bus Services and the SaveOurShepherd campaign with DCUSU.”

McHugh’s campaign comes after DCUSU attempted to launch a petition to disaffiliate from the USI. The decision was decided upon a vote, with DCUSU President having final say after a split decision from executives.

McHugh said, he is personally pro-USI affiliation and that there has never been a conflict of interest or tension among executives.

“I wouldn’t say a conflict of interest, I maintain the issue that I was elected to DCU students union and to the executive and the functioning of the executive is that we work as a team, and we know that there may be different opinions but ultimately majority rules there,” he said. “They have stood by me, and I will stand by them.”

“I am unapologetically pro USI, I think we have never been a greater need for a national student movement, I voted for us to remain neutral. I don’t feel the executive should take a stance on that.”
Moloney-Burke said that the current SU is supporting Craig despite their conflicting opinions on the USI.

“I am delighted that Craig is running and I really believe he can make great change in the organisation. He has our full support,” he said. “The team remained as strong as ever throughout the process. Craig was great, got his opinion across in an assertive and respectful manner, and I know he feels he was treated the same in return.”

Callum Lavery

Image Credit: Craig McHugh USI Dublin VP Facebook.com