Former Students’ Union Education Vice-President Paul Lynam is to become next year’s SU President. Lynam ran uncontested for the role and won with 68 per cent of the ballot. Re-open nominations garnered the remaining 32 per cent of the vote.
Lynam declared himself “relieved and delighted” with the results of the ballot, despite receiving the highest RON vote of the three candidates that were running unopposed. When asked about this, Lynam said that “even if I got 88 per cent I still wouldn’t be happy, because you’re not going to be happy unless you’ve got 100 per cent,” but that he is aware he would “have to do it to the best of my ability next year, and have a great year,” due to the exceptionally high RON vote.
Lynam is keen to start work with his colleagues for next year, telling The University Observer that the group “really seem to gel,” and that they have already met to talk “about confidentiality and looking out for each other.” Lynam has said he is keen to avoid the problems that have plagued this year’s SU, explaining that “I’m quite clear on confidentiality with infighting, because every time that there’s infighting, we’re not selling out gigs or we’re not getting money for the Welfare Fund. It means we won’t get out there to students.”
Lynam has cited “the prioritisation of student services and the welfare of the student body in general” as his main priorities during his term as President. He has also declared the maintenance and development of the Student Health Centre as a priority for the SU, saying that he will investigate models in other universities in both Britain and Ireland to see what could best work for UCD.
Another topic that Lynam has pledged to tackle next year is Union visibility – something he acknowledges as being a problem this year. “I think it’s generally accepted that you need to show students your achievements, but you also need to show them that you’re representing them as a go-to body if there’s an issue,” he said, adding that if there are “any failures, you need to look at them and see how you’d do it yourself.”
Lynam also emphasised the process by which he hopes to achieve the promises outlined in his manifesto, and in those of his Vice-Presidents-to-be, saying “we need to let students know what we’re doing. We’ll take our manifestos and go through how we’re going to achieve this, not just the goals themselves.”
The final year Social Science student has resigned himself to budget cuts during his term of office, but is adamant that if “I feel like they’ve [the University] crossed a line and are making excessive cutbacks, then I do think that we need to respond in the campaigning manner as well.”