Nominations for the forthcoming UCC Students’ Union elections have now opened. Nomination forms-which were accepted from 09:30am yesterday-are to be submitted no later that this coming Friday, March 1st.
The five sabbatical (i.e. paid, full time) positions of President, Deputy President/Campaigns Communications and Commercial Officer, Education Officer and Welfare Officer are up for election as well as seven non-sabbatical (non-paid, part-time) positions; Entertainments, Equality and Irish Officers as well as the four College Reps.
All promotional material intended for use in candidates’ election campaigns must first be approved by the Returning Officer, Denis MacDonald prior to printing. Flyers are not to be distributed on campus before Monday, March 11th 2013. Candidates will not be permitted to distribute campaign materials (e.g. flyers, posters etc.) in the SU Offices or the SU Box Office (beside Bank of Ireland in the Student Centre), in any of the college’s library buildings (with the exclusion of the area containing the Boole Basement lecture theatres) or within a ten metre radius of the polling stations.
On campus campaign posters may only be displayed on noticeboards and in poster boxes (limited to two posters per board) until the week subsequent to the election and failure by candidates to remove them after this will result in a €5 fine per poster (with the maximum fine not in excess of €50). Finally, in line with the regulations which have been set by the UCC Societies’ Guild and Clubs Executive, candidates are prohibited from the use of materials owned by either of the aforementioned in the course of their campaign.
Where campaign allowance is concerned, no sabbatical candidate may spend in excess of €500. Those who wish to run for a non-sabbatical position are limited to a budget of €250 and the spending of candidates seeking election as a representative for their college (CACSSS, SEFS, Business and Law or Med. and Health) must not be more than €100. This has been made applicable to campaigns on and off campus and online and also includes campaign donations made to candidates by individuals. Candidates are obliged to complete an expense report-to be submitted to the Returning Officer by 5pm on March 12th 2013-with which receipts for all campaign-related expenditure is to be submitted (If this is not done then a valid excuse will be required. In this case, if the Returning Officer deems it necessary, an estimated cost for un-receipted materials will be added to the candidate’s expense report and added to their overall spending).
Candidates are prohibited from obtaining commercial sponsorship to support or aid their campaign and, furthermore, are unpermitted to use the facilities of the UCC Students’ Union for the production of campaign materials. Prospective candidates are asked to note that they will be refunded up to 50% of campaign materials costs (a maximum of €250 for a sabbatical position, €125 for a part-time position and €50 for a College Rep. position).
Where any of the regulations are found to have been breached, the candidate in question will be verbally reprimanded. In the instance of a second offence, they will be issued with a formal, written warning and an electronic copy is to be submitted. Thereafter, candidates are to be disqualified. Complaints-to be made to Returning Officer-will not be accepted after 5pm on Friday, March 15th 2013.
Speaking to the UCC Express earlier this week, UCCSU Deputy President Sam Ryan responded to the commonly held belief that the UCCSU elections had become a popularity contest, based more so on ‘gimmicks’ and personality than on actual merit. “It’s hard to deny (that),” he said. “But…under the surface…99% of candidates…have serious issues that they want to tackle next year…People should stop being so cynical…and start looking at what people want to do to change UCC.”
Elections will take place this March 11th and 12th 2013.