Your Union?

Ah University; that chance to break away from the shackles of secondary school, an opportunity to reinvent yourself, to rediscover yourself, to break away from those who ridiculed you for being different. Or not?

In the past week a video posted by UCDSU has been viewed by over 1000 people on YouTube and received a rating of no less than 100%. It features Campaigns and Communications Officer Brendan Lacey, dressed in your stereotypical ‘awkward geek’ attire, attempting to convince fellow students to elect him as their Class Rep.

UCDSU has been plagued by accusations that the Union is little more than a clique and that Class Rep elections are popularity contests at heart: the SU’s latest online offering seems to reinforce the viewpoint. After all, to run for Class Rep all you need to do is get a form and get ‘your mates’ to nominate you.

The video actually took me back to my second year in UCD when I received an e-mail from a prospective Politics Class Rep, offering me, and indeed the entire Politics class, an invite to a house party she was hosting the Friday before the election. Did her tactics work? Who knows, but either way she won the support of the electorate, gaining herself a seat at Council and popularity that proved nothing short of universal.

I think of the thousands of students who flock to UCD, eager to leave behind the trivial, juvenile attitudes, which often characterise secondary school. What does this video say to them? In my eyes it says it’s ok to ridicule someone who runs for Class Rep if they don’t fit the bill so to speak. Is that really the kind of attitude that should be promoted?

I can take a joke; don’t get me wrong; I’m just quite frankly disappointed. The SU’s posts to date seemed promising and innovative before this little creation arrived online.

Remember, it’s your Union guys, unless you’re ‘that guy’; the Union which automatically represents you would rather not have you amongst the ranks it would seem.

(September 2011 collegetribune.ie)

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