It's Collins v Helferty for President
The 2008 sabbatical elections are here! This year is significantly different however as there are seven black padded leather chairs up for grabs instead of the usual five.
For those of you clueless to what will be going on the 4th and 5th of March, (i.e. – anyone not on the exec or student council) Queen’s students will vote via QOL for a new President along with 6 Vice-Presidents. Those elected will form the new student executive for next year, taking a £15k-per-post salary in the process.
As usual we are being promised the world as candidates map out visionary utopias of ‘their union’ on black and white A4 paper. This year’s presidential race pits the sitting Vice-President for Welfare, Ciarnán Helferty, against relative new-comer Michael Collins who is running under the banner of ‘people before profit’.
Expect the usual bad custom-made t-shirts and free lollipops next Tuesday and Wednesday (4th & 5th March) as candidates vie for your vote. Looking beyond Helferty’s manifesto, the fact he was nominated by current President John Roger and seconded by VP Clubs & Services Steffan Rafferty suggests a certain retention of the present regime. Running on his ticket are some familiar faces among union societies, Andrew Gordon (VP Campaigns and Communications), Shane Brogan (VP Equality and Diversity), Laura Hawthorne (VP Community) and Michael Bower (VP Education). Fergus McAleavey could be forgiven for taking it easy on the canvassing front next week as the sole contender for election to the seat of VP Welfare - or perhaps that would under-estimate the popularity of RON?
It seems Michael Collins is up against it to overcome such a well established presence within union governance. His manifesto is logo and slogan friendly and with fees, housing, racism, green issues and protest on the agenda he is obviously appealing to ‘left politics’. Unionists shouldn’t be too scared of the famed nationalist's namesake however, as he envisions “a centre for bringing people together”. Also running on his ticket is Paul Simpson (VP Campaigns and Communications).
Other candidates include James Murphy (VP Campaigns and Communications) from the present Law Society (whose manifesto boasts a generous endorsement from the Law Soc President, who doubles as a housemate and bosom buddy). Kevin Kelly (VP Education) and Paul Courtney (VP Clubs and Societies) are running on the same ticket.
Rhonda Milligan (VP Community) and Jeremy Bennett (VP Clubs and Societies) run on a joint DUA-Queen’s Ulster Unionists ticket with Jonathon Crawford (VP Equality and Diversity) running under a simply ‘unionist’ label. LGBT President Debbie McCook runs for VP Clubs and Societies with Colin McShane running for VP Education with the endorsement of the current seat-holder, Michal Harkin.
Elections take place exclusively online over Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th of March. View candidate’s manifestos on http://www.qubsu.org/index.cfm?do=side&id=99