DCUSU Elections have officially kicked off as campaigning begun across campus and social media at 1pm this afternoon. In the running for the lead role of SU President this year is current SU President Thomas “TOD” O’Dowd and final-year Media and Politics student, Brandon Perry.
Both O’Dowd and Perry attended the first hustings event of the DCUSU Elections last night, where they revealed their campaign manifestos to the student body. TOD brought a formal, polished approach to the introduction of his campaign, while Brandon had a laid-back care-free attitude while telling the student body of his plans.
Thomas, known more commonly by the wider student body as “TOD,” is coming to the end of what has been a largely successful first year at the helm of the Student Union. During his time in office, Thomas has been heavily praised for his charismatic nature, friendly attitude towards others, and selflessness around campus.
Throughout his first year in charge, Thomas oversaw the planning of several specialised weeks dedicated to inclusion of minority groups in the university such as National Hidden Disability Week, Black History Week and most recently, Asian Culture Week. This new, energetic approach, partially accredited to the SU President, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, Christine O’Mahony.
While these events may have taken place in previous years, it is widely believed by the student body that the emphasis placed on them this year was far greater than in previous years.
However, Thomas’s 2023 campaign launch today has been scrutinised by some students as the slick, polished appearance which he maintained throughout last year’s campaign, is less evident this time around with clumsy spelling errors popping up across campaign posters.
Furthermore, Thomas’s promise of a free “Just Eat Voucher” for one of his campaign followers has been questioned by a small group of students as other candidates. The College View reached out to Thomas for his reaction to the above comments but has received no response at the time of publishing.
On the other side of the race to office, Brandon Perry’s casual approach to the campaign, which was widely commented on following last night’s hustings, was apparent once again today as he launched his green-themed “Brandon Perry for President” campaign across his social media platforms.
Perry has received some criticism from his peers in the wake of his campaign launch with many students spotting a myriad of grammatical errors throughout his campaign posts. Such errors, which include basic spelling mistakes, have led students to question his dedication to the campaign and suitability for the role.
However, notwithstanding these question marks, the self-proclaimed ordinary “Joe Soap,” has received many plaudits for his desire to make student life “more affordable” around campus, although he is yet to confirm to us how exactly he plans to achieve this.
The College View reached out to Brandon for his reaction to the above comments and he responded with a lengthy statement addressing, in detail, all the points raised by students, and more.
The statement opened with an apology to students for the numerous grammatical errors that have appeared across his campaign posters and social media posts, citing a “hectic schedule” to explain the errors.
In addition to this, Brandon hit back at claims that he has adopted a more laid-back approach than is typically expected of SU Election candidates assuring students that he is “serious about this campaign and student politics more broadly.”
Brandon then went on to reiterate many of the points that he made during Monday’s Candidates Conversations, but he did add one new and almost unheard-of claim to his promises as he told me he would “redirect some of my salary as my priority is students, not monetary gain.” This bold claim is one which is sure to strike conversation among the student body.
Day one of campaigning has drawn to a close but already both SU Presidential candidates have laid foundations upon which they will hope to build a greater rapport with students and acquire their support once voting commences at 7am next Tuesday, 21st February.
The Presidential candidates can be seen launching their manifestos and answering questions from 2hrs 9mins 18secs below:
Image Credit: DCUSU Website