SU Elections: Entertainments Officer Analysis

 
 

As well as promising students the time of their lives if they are elected, the main themes running through this year’s manifestos are the website, an opt-out clause for the texts and having more events run for students living on residence.

The most innovative manifesto of the four candidates is undoubtedly that of Darragh Kinsella. However, what some consider to be filled with refreshing enthusiasm, others believe to reveal a lack of experience and no knowledge of how Ents functions, not to mention the existence of a budget.

Thus far, Kinsella has proven himself popular among the students due to successful lecture addresses and his differentiating factor of never having been affiliated with the Students’ Union. If his enthusiasm proves to have some backbone, and he convinces students that his plans are in fact realistic, he will prove a formidable opponent for Manning, Darcy and Ní Churraoin.

Though one might not consider Manning, Ní Churraoin and Darcy’s manifestos to be filled with extraordinary new plans, they do bring fresh ideas to the table – that though not as ambitious as Kinsella’s – are certainly more feasible with the current budget.

Darcy’s main focus appears to be getting student opinion and involvement in every which way he can – from setting up an Ents executive board, to having students vote on potential acts.

The four years of both Ents and outside experience, can be seen in certain aspects of his manifesto – while there are some outlandish ideas such as an intervarsity Mystery Tour, proposals such as the “Inishbobbin” trip and the intervarsity RAG week seem to be not only doable, but appealing to students.

Manning wants to do it all: organise graduating students final-class parties, launching a cocktail bar in the Student Bar and have campus bands support headline acts. Though his manifesto has a lot of varying ideas, the majority appear to be both well thought-out and feasible.

Of the four candidates, Manning is the only one to dedicate a section of his manifesto to charity. While the remaining three candidates have a substantial focus on introducing more sporting events to students, it does not appear to be one of Manning’s top priorities.

Ní Churraoin exhibits some new ideas though appears to want to build and expand on what is already in place rather than bring in her own vision. One of her main focus points is having a better system through which to inform students of upcoming events, something she felt was lacking this year.

There are few distinguishing factors between Manning and Darcy – both appear to be able candidates who know enough about the Ents office to prevent it tumbling to the ground in the coming year, while bringing in new ideas which will no doubt appeal to students. Kinsella, despite lacking the experience of the other candidates, may prove to have the drive and originality to bring students a year like no other.

Ní Churraoin has few original ideas, but many plans to build and improve upon the systems already in place that, though a safe play, is maybe what the Ents Office requires.

Name: Stephen Darcy

Age: 25

Course and Year: Third-year Geography and Art History

Do you drink, smoke or take drugs? I drink; I do neither of the other two.

Name the President, Registrar and Bursar of UCD: The president is Hugh Brady, the Bursar is Gerry O’Brien and the Registrar is currently Philip Nolan.

Name the last five gigs you’ve been to: I was at The Script, Boyz Noise in Tripod after the UCD Boyz Noise gig, Michael Bublé, Funeral for a Friend and Digitalism.

Review

Long-time Ents Crew member, Stephen Darcy, is contesting the race for Ents Officer, believing it to be his experience and “100 per cent doable” manifesto that will get him elected.

Darcy criticises the manifestos of some of his opponents, insisting that camping for the UCD Ball will never happen saying and explaining that “I left out the outrageous ideas because I don’t want to give students empty promises that won’t happen; it comes with experience – knowing what to put in your manifesto and what not to”.

According to Darcy, UCD’s RAG week has consistently “struggled to get off the ground”, he believes that having a big event at the start of the week – in this case the RAG ball, will be the ideal way to commence the activities. Alongside this, he hopes to run an intervarsity RAG week with other colleges.

With his previous experience with the UCD fashion show, Darcy believes having “one big show – a 6,000-person event in the O2 arena”, which he describes as a “one-night sell-out”, to be the key of making it a successful, sold-out event.

With the idea that entertainment in UCD should not be solely at the discretion of the Ents officer, Darcy hopes to introduce a system whereby students vote on which of two acts they would rather see a few months in advance of the gig itself. He aims to achieve this by booking two acts provisionally for the same night and cancelling the one with the least number of votes: “I want students to get what they want,” he insists.

It is his “experience and know-how” that Darcy feels make him the best candidate for the job: this experience comes from doing his own entertainment work, so as to best prepare for the position: “Being a member of the Ents crew doesn’t warrant doing a good job as an Ents officer.” He continues: “I will give students the best year of their college life and won’t let them down.”

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Name: Edel Ní Churraoin

Age: 20

Course and Year: Third-year Psychology

Do you drink, smoke or take drugs? I drink, I don’t smoke and I don’t take drugs.

Name the President, Registrar and Bursar of UCD: Hugh Brady, Philip Nolan soon to be Barbara Redmond and the bursar – I should know this but right now I don’t.

Name the last five gigs you’ve been to: I was at The Script, Michael Bublé, a Saw Doctors gig, I Y Techno and at the X Factor gig.

Review

As the only female candidate contesting the position of Entertainments Vice-President, Edel Ní Churraoin cites her various roles in different events across campus over the past three years as her biggest asset, having acted in various capacities     from Arts Programme Officer to Auditor of Tradsoc.

Current Vice-Auditor of ArtsSoc, Ní Churraoin cites lack of sufficient advertising as Ents Officer Jonny Cosgrove’s greatest shortcoming: “Towards the end of the first semester and some of this semester, some events haven’t been advertised in time, or as they should.” This is an issue that she hopes to combat by postering two weeks in advance of an event as well as publishing an Ents wall planner, something that has not be seen in UCD for a few years.

Though Ní Churraoin suggests in her manifesto that camping during the UCD Ball would be an option, she also says that the idea is something that she would look in to due to demand, but states that the resulting increased price of tickets would not be something she would compromise on: “If the price was as much as is being suggested by Buildings and Services and people like that, it would not be worth it.”

Due to the closing of the residence gates, “banter between the residences” has been greatly reduced according to Ní Churraoin. Her solution to this is revitalising residence life by hosting sport competitions, a Res Ball and outdoor movies.

Ní Churraoin refers to Cosgrove’s opinion last year that “the process of drinking and just having a good time” is more important; to this extent she hopes to host many more sporting events, possibly in conjunction with Nike, who have allegedly expressed interest in the idea.

Believing herself to be “approachable”, Ní Churraoin considers herself the optimal candidate for the position due to her all-round immersion in campus life, who wants to “bring Ents back to campus”.

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Name: Darragh Kinsella

Age: 20

Course and Year: Second-year Arts

Do you drink, smoke or take drugs? I drink, I smoke and I certainly do not take drugs.

Name the President, Registrar and Bursar of UCD: Martin Butler, Hugh Brady – he’s the president, that’s all I know.

Name the last five gigs you’ve been to: Oxegen 2010, Electric Picnic 2010, Oxegen 2009, Electric Picnic 2009 and Oxegen 2008.

Review

Newcomer Darragh “Ozzy” Kinsella has ambitious plans to “change, change, change” the Ents office ranging from class parties to a Sports and Soc Ball which he hopes will raise €25,000 for societies and sports clubs.

Though he openly admits to having “no experience in the traditional sense”, he feels it can be made up for by having regularly attended nights out run by both the UCD and Trinity Ents offices. “I go out with the people so I get to see what people are like on the ground, what they think of all the various nights out and the things they’ve been saying.”

Kinsella rates current Ents Officer Jonny Cosgrove’s performance as having done “well, but could have done a hell of a lot better”. He cites the Freshers’ Ball as Cosgrove’s biggest success, but among his failures, lists the Christmas Ball, Halloween Ball and Mystery Tour, stating: “There wasn’t that many people there.”

One of Kinsella’s prominent ideas on his manifesto is the UCD Olympics – a faculty versus faculty, three-day event. Though nightclubs will be arranged for the evenings, they will not be affiliated with Ents as Kinsella insists: “I don’t want to get involved in nightclubs or any of that sort.”

Another one of Kinsella’s major aims for the coming year would be to make Ents more approachable, something he doesn’t believe was the case this year: “I want people to be able to approach me next year with ideas and suggestions, people don’t feel that they can approach Jonny in the way that they can approach me.”

Bringing UCD students an international Mystery Tour is Kinsella’s biggest priority in terms of making a change to the Ents Office; he states that if other colleges are doing it, “I want to do it here in my own college”.

Kinsella describes himself as a “social and outgoing people’s person”, all qualities which he believes make him the ideal candidate for the job, as well as “knowing what the people on the ground want”.

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Name: Robert Manning

Age: 22

Course and Year: Third-year Social Science

Do you drink, smoke or take drugs? I drink, I don’t smoke and I don’t do drugs.

Name the President, Registrar and Bursar of UCD: The president is Hugh Brady, the registrar – I actually had a look at that on the UCD webpage and they’ve stated that it’s Philip Nolan and the bursar – Dave Carmody.

Name the last five gigs you’ve been to: That’s an interesting one, I can’t remember – it was probably some good ones – it’s very hard to fit in around studying.

Review

Ents Crew member Robert Manning has chosen to contest the position of Ents Officer this year, claiming that the experience he gained during close work with Ents Officers dating back to Stephen Quinlivan has made him the best candidate in the highly contested race.

His plan for bringing the Freshers’ Ball back to campus is loosely based on an idea for the UCD Ball four years ago which had the status of the ball not increased, would have gone ahead. “We originally planned to have it (the UCD Ball) in separate sections based around the Student Bar – so I’ll hopefully have the Freshers’ Ball up by the bar like that.”

While current Ents Officer Jonny Cosgrove considered his tendency to jump from “idea to idea” an asset which would make Ents more interesting, Manning believed it to have ultimately been one of his biggest flaws. He stated that he was more focused than Cosgrove: “When I put my mind to something, I’m on that, I won’t skip away.”

Manning went on to reveal Cosgrove’s absence during earlier office hours as one of his downfalls: “He’s not really a morning person, so I’ve actually looked after all the promotions for Jonny from flyering to postering.”

Manning came out with a manifesto which he describes as being filled with “great ideas” that are all “feasible and doable”. These “great ideas” include introducing a cocktail bar, ensuring that there is an organised graduation event for those who finish college and introducing a student discount in shops already not carrying one such as Quicksilver.

Considering himself as being a friendly and open-minded person, Manning hopes to support all events across campus from faculty days to graduation parties, though not in the capacity of putting the Ents label on them, but “if they need help or anything like that they can come to me and I’ll help them as much as they want”.

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