UNIVERSITY College Cork (UCC) has its first female Students’ Union (SU) President in 18 years following the election of Asha Woodhouse this week.
The Cork City native was elected as the next UCC SU President on Thursday following a voter turnout that was one of the best in recent years with almost 6,000 students casting their votes online.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this was the first year that campaigns and voting took place online.
Speaking on the win, she said: “I’m still a bit shook, to be honest. I can’t quite believe it. It hasn’t really settled in yet and with not being on campus - the way it would normally be - it feels almost anti-climatic in a way, but still amazing.”
The 24-year-old was running against Adam O’Brien and Dave Collins and was elected on the first count.
“I exceeded the quota on the first count which was just more than I could have dreamed of. I got 53 percent of first preference votes which was just insane.”
“Normally it's quite close. I thought if I did win, it would be in a margin of a couple of hundred or I would be depending on transfers from another student but the amount of votes but the amount I won by - I was absolutely blown away,” she added.
She was elected alongside Communications and Engagement Officer Maeve Richardson, Education Officer Sinead Roche, Entertainments Officer Luke Mulcahy, Welfare Officer Caoimhe Walsh and Commercial and Fundraising Officer Siobhán Murphy.
Asha's win marks the first time a female has been SU President at the university in 18 years; a moment so significant that her name was even 'trending' on Twitter.
“I hope that we never have such a dormant period of no woman taking over the role again but it’s an honour to finally break the cycle.”
Currently completing a Master’s in Environmental Law, Asha is hoping to use her time as President to bring environmental issues to the forefront.
“I think it's something, as a union we need to do more for it because we have a whole generation coming behind us who have real concerns about environmental issues and we need to be holding our institutions accountable and make sure that they are exercising their social and environmental responsibility.”