Megan O’Connor has been elected education officer of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) on the first count, winning an uncontested race with 88.2 per cent of the vote.
O’Connor was elected with 2,041 votes of a total valid poll of 2,315. Some 274 students voted to re-open nominations.
A poll conducted by The University Times predicted that O’Connor would win the race by a comfortable margin, with the fourth-year general nursing student to secure 85.3 per cent of the vote.
Speaking to The University Times after the results, O’Connor said: “It’s just been a wild two weeks but I’ve really enjoyed it I’ve met so many new people, the other candidates from the other races have just been amazing. We’ve become really good friends throughout it so that’s been a really positive experience.”
“It’s definitely been a journey of self-discovery more than I realized. I never thought I’d be learning so much about my star sign. But I’m kind of glad it’s over, I’m looking forward to tonight”, she said.
This year saw O’Connor reach the finish line alone – a stark contrast to last year’s two-horse race that was arguably the most hotly contested of the elections.
During her campaign, O’Connor focused on “grassroots” issues, including modular billing and the implementation of a buddy system for students.
O’Connor also pinpointed engagement and transparency with the union as key issues that she will seek to address, pledging to follow through on such promises by working alongside class representatives and holding unsociable office hours via Skype calls for students off campus.
Following scrutiny of her failure to address national issues in her manifesto amid a student accommodation crisis, fee increases and high transport costs across the country, O’Connor responded by emphasising the importance of collaborating with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) – which she describes as a “fantastic resource”.
Optimistic throughout, O’Connor set her sights on many long-term projects, maintaining that all of the proposals in her manifesto could be implemented or at least “put into writing” within her 12 month term as education officer.