Students involved in UCD Access and Lifelong Learning received an email from the centre notifying them that Rebecca Hart is running for president of UCD’s Students’ Union. In the email, the centre they were “delighted to note that Rebecca is running to be UCDSU President.”
The email told students that “Rebecca has worked as an Access Leader with us for a number of years working on our outreach programmes, as well as here on campus with HEAR students, students with disabilities, and mature students.”
Hart has been suspended from canvassing until 3pm for “breach of election rules” which has been perceived to be as a result of the email.
A follow-up email was later sent to students “to apologise if it was perceived that [the Access and Lifelong Learning Centre was] endorsing a particular candidate or attempting to sway your vote.”
“Access & Lifelong Learning will not be endorsing any candidate and we would encourage students to inform themselves by researching both candidates and their manifestos.”
The University Observer was told that the email was initially sent as the centre are “thrilled” that a student from the access centre has put themselves forward for the position of UCDSU president.
Speaking to the University Observer, one recipient of the email said they “think it was unprofessional and irresponsible of them to send that email, I know they said it was not meant to endorse one candidate over the other but that’s hard to believe when they only actually mentioned one of them.”
Voting in the presidential by-elections takes place today and tomorrow, November 22nd and 23rd.