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UCD students overturn Coke ban as Lynam wins Students’ Union presidency

STUDENTS in UCD have voted to overturn UCD Students’ Union’s boycott on the sale of Coca-Cola products in SU shops and bars.

The referendum, which took place alongside the Union’s annual Sabbatical Elections, was passed by a narrow margin – by 51.9% to 48.1%. The boycott means that the Students’ Union are now free to sell Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite, Lilt and Riverrock Water in its bars and shops, and are entitled to seek sponsorship from The Coca-Cola Company.

Over 4,300 students voted in the referendum and elections – a turnout over 20 per cent smaller than last year’s elections which attracted a record number of students to the polls.

The official campaign agent for the ‘No’ pro-boycott side, Aideen Carberry, said the boycott debate “was not over” and promised to lead a campaign seeking the boycott’s re-introduction next year.

James Williamson delivers his victory speech after being elected Education VP of UCD Students' Union. Photo: Gavan Reilly

In the SU elections, Paul Lynam was elected President for the 2010-2011 academic year with an approval rate of 68 per cent, while Scott Ahearn was re-elected to the position of Welfare Vice-President defeating the Re-Open Nominations option by 77-23 in percentage terms.

Jonny Cosgrove fared best of the three uncontested candidates, winning the approval of 83 per cent of students to be elected Entertainments Vice-President for the 2010-2011 year.

The two contested elections saw the current Science Programme Officer, James Williamson of 3rd Science, overcome the challenge of John Logue (2nd Law) by 52 per cent to 41 per cent to become Education Vice-President-elect, with six per cent of students voting to Re-Open Nominations.

Next year’s sabbatical team will be completed by Pat de Brún, who enjoyed a comprehensive victory over Colm Maguire in the Campaigns & Communications race. De Brún, who won the approval of 67 per cent of students versus Maguire’s 25 per cent, described the campaign as “the toughest two weeks of my life”.

The five victorious candidates take office on July 1st, 2010. The Coca-Cola boycott is abandoned with immediate effect and the Union’s shops are free to stock Coca-Cola products as soon as is practicable.

The full breakdown of election results is available by clicking here.