A SPLIT amongst the sabbatical officers of the Students’ Union (SU) has been denied following a disagreement over the Miss UCD competition.
The competition was at the centre of controversy last year, as the winner had to satisfy particular entry requirements, which prohibited the entry of pregnant or married women, in order to qualify for the Miss Ireland competition.
The decision to hold the Miss UCD competition was put to vote by class representatives last night, as the SU decided to “find out what the students of UCD really think” about the compeition, according to SU Entertainments (Ents) Officer, Gary Redmond.
Mr Redmond refuted claims of a split forming within the SU stating, “It’s absolutely not causing a divide”. He affirmed that “we all have our own opinions on things [but] we work together very strongly as a team.”
When questioned about the suitability of Miss UCD as an SU event, Mr Redmond assured that issues concerning discriminatory rules have now “been lifted” and conceded that “beauty is only one aspect of the criteria. No one is being forced to enter the competition, it’s up to themselves,” Mr Redmond explained.
These feelings were met by opposition from SU Campaigns and Communciations Officer, Dan O’Neill, who responded with discontent, regarding Miss UCD as a “bad thing.” He believes that a union providing a welfare service should not be running a beauty pageant. “I don’t think it will look good if a union with five male sabbatical officers runs a beauty pageant, it just won’t come across as good or progressive,” commented Mr O’Neill.
Mr O’Neill strongly opposes the Miss UCD competition but admits that he will comply with the students’ decision, saying that “[the] council and the students of UCD are my boss and I have to do what my boss has asked me to do.” Mr O’Neill has also echoed the sentiments of Mr Redmond, regarding claims of a split as untrue.
The Miss UCD competition, which was established in 2007, judges women based on a number of criteria including beauty, talent and personality. The winning participant is then qualified to compete in the Miss Ireland competition. Last year’s winner was second year Law student, Ana Pavel, orginally from Moldova.
The University Observer can confirm that Council endorsed the running of such an event at its meeting last night, on the proviso that a Mr UCD event also take place.