Mar 21, 2023

Three to Contest USI Presidency with Two From Trinity to Run Elsewhere

A total of four of the races will be contested in this year’s elections, with the remaining six uncontested.

Ailbhe NoonanEditor

Three candidates from across Ireland will contest the presidency for the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) – Patrick Curtin from the South Eastern Technological University Waterford Students Union (SETUWSU), Sai Gujulla from the University of Galway Students’ Union (CMLOÉG), and Asha Woodhouse from University College Cork Students’ Union (UCCSU).

Four of the races including the presidential race are to be contested, with the remaining six – Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Equality and Citizenship, Leas Uachtarán na Gaeilge, Vice President for the Border, Midlands and Western (BMW) Region, Vice President for the Southern Region and Vice President for the Dublin Region – uncontested.

Other than the race for President, the contested elections include Vice President for Welfare, Vice President for Campaigns and Vice President for Postgraduate Affairs.


Two candidates from Trinity are also running in the elections. Zaid Al-Barghouthi, a fourth-year law student and the current International Students Officer for Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) is running for Vice-President for Campaigns.

Al-Barghouthi is also the current Chair of the Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) Implementation Group and previously served as the Trinity Hall Junior Common Room (JCR) International Officer.

Al-Barghouthi faces three other candidates for the position – Aoife Hynes from Maynooth Students’ Union (MSU), Kieron Portbury from Queens University Belfast Students’ Union (QUBSU) and Christine O’Mahony from Dublin City University Students’ Union (DCUSU).

PhD candidate and member of the Postgraduate Workers’ Organisation (PWO) Committee Seathrún (Jeffrey) Sardina is running for Vice President for Postgraduate Affairs.

Sardina was one of the founders of the PhDs’ Collective Action Union (PCAU), serving as the group’s President and then Vice President after stepping down from the presidency due to increased work obligations. He now serves on the PWO Committee following a merger with the Postgraduate Workers’ Alliance of Ireland (PGWA) to form the PWO.

Sardina also served as this newspaper’s Chair of the Editorial Board, having previously served as the paper’s Irish Editor and as a staff writer.

Other candidates for the role include Muhammad Mubashar Saeed and Muhammad Sayyam Afzal, both from DCUSU.

Vice President for Welfare will see Colette Murphy from DCUSU running against Sarah Behan from USI’s Coiste Gnó.

Bryan O’Mahony from SETUWSU is to run uncontested for the role of Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Kimberley Austin from St. Angela’s College Sligo Students’ Union (STACSSU), Kelda McManus from Munster Technological University Students’ Union (MTUSU) and Nathan Murphy from DCUSU will run uncontested for the roles of Vice President for the BMW Region, Vice President for the Southern Region and Vice President for the Dublin Region respectively.

Alicia Lewandowska from SETUWSU will run uncontested for Leas Uachtáran don Ghaeilge while James Curry from the Technological University of Dublin Students’ Union (TUDSU) is running uncontested for Vice President for Equality and Citizenship.

Seathrún Sardina has stepped down as Chair of the Editorial Board for the duration of the election season.

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