Dylan O’Neill talks about one of the SU’s most recent achievements and what they meant to him
Over the past few weeks, the UCD Student’s Union have been posting articles from 1987 up to as recent as 2007 onto their Facebook page, that involved the SU, in order to get students interested in running for the Sabbatical Positions, College Officers and Oifigeach na Gaeilge.
These articles, which are well worth a read, involved issues that the SU faced, from the triumph over the struggle for recognition of the now LGBTQ+ Society to the questionable campaign to “register every student eligible to vote in both their home constituency and the constituency of their college”. It seems that there is controversy surrounding the actions of the SU.
So with all this talk about what the SU has done for you, the student, who actually has to go to lectures, and do hour upon hours of required reading (or just tell your parents you do), is it fair to ask: “What has been the SU’s greatest achievement?”
In February 2015, The UCDSU voted on what stance they should adopt for the Marriage Equality Referendum in May of that year. Of the students who voted, and outstanding 97% voted to “Yes” in support of Marriage Equality. Following the results, the SU set up the #VoteForMe campaign to represent the “Yes” side for UCD students.
In keeping with the theme of equality, the campaign included testimonials from students who identified as Straight, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans+ or Queer on why they were voting “Yes” in May, as well as information on how students could register to vote and check to see if they were registered. The campaign received huge media coverage, and there was even a mock wedding in the Student Centre between two same-sex couples during the appropriately named ‘Rainbow Week’, all organised and run by the SU.
The success of this campaign was shown in the huge number of students who came out in support of marriage equality on the 26th March for the social media launch night in the Student’s Centre which had Colm O’Gorman, Director of Amnesty International in Ireland, as well as a moving rendition of “You Love Who You Love”.
For many young people, myself included, May 22nd was the first time we had our voices heard by voting, and to this day, I am still very proud of the part I played.
This is just one example of the success the SU has achieved, with the involvement of students in UCD. The SU is there for every student to have a say in how they want their college run. It is above all else a democracy, but it can only yield the results of the #VoteForMe campaign again if every student votes and gets involved in their union, no matter how small a capacity.