Why you should VOTE YES in the Referendum

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In case you didn’t know DIT no longer exists! On 1st January, TU Dublin came into being and the DIT, IT Tallaght, and IT Blanchardstown were dissolved. It marked both a new dawn for the 1st Technological University in Ireland and at the same the beginning of the end of the three existing Students’ Unions of DIT Students’ Union, IT Tallaght Students’ Union and IT Blanchardstown Students’ Union.

Don’t worry, we knew this was coming since the announcement on 17th July by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Grangegorman. Your full time officers in DITSU and the elected officers in ITTDSU and ITBSU have been working on a Constitution for TU Dublin Students’ Union for several months and now the time has come.

The TU Dublin Students’ Union (TUDSU) Constitution has been endorsed by the Student Councils (or their equivalent) in DITSU, ITTDSU and ITBSU. The next step is to hold a referendum, where we ask all city campus students to VOTE YES on 19th & 20th February.

Why Bother

We know many students will ask why should I bother voting in this referendum that seems to have just sprang up out of the blue! However, many students have been asking what would happen to the Students’ Union since the announcement. Since TU Dublin is in existence, it means that a new Students’ Union must be created to represent all students of the University, whether they study in City Campus, Tallaght or in Blanchardstown. It is one University and it needs one Students’ Union as the existing three Students’ Unions can’t represent all 28,000 students as it currently stands.

The process to presenting the Constitution to referendum took longer than expected as naturally it encountered some difficulties in the preceding months, both over Christmas and throughout January, with the help of facilitators we are happy to present this fundamental document to vote across the three student bodies. It will be this document that may guide the student voice in shaping the new University in the coming months and years, and most importantly within its first year as the TU President has to develop a strategic plan and an organisational structure.

My Top Reasons to VOTE YES

I could list off several reasons why I urge YOU all to VOTE YES in the upcoming referendum on the TU Dublin Students’ Union. You’ll hear a lot of them during the campaign period but I’ll just give you below the fundamental three that a YES VOTE will bring:

  1. Ensure Student Representation and a voice on all University committees and boards.
  2. Continue to elect your representatives that can deal with your class, campus and University-wide issues.
  3. Provide a free, independent and confidential advice service for all students.

The role of a Students’ Union is to be the independent voice and advocate within the University. This is mainly done through the elected officers who sit on many committees and boards to ensure in simple terms that students aren’t being screwed over in their education. 

The Students’ Union facilitates the fair and democratic processes to elect representatives from class, school, college and University level. The Class Rep is the building block to a strong Students’ Union as many issues start within the classroom and the Union can be there to support the Class Reps through training, advice and intervention, to ensure students get the best educational experience.

Imagine this – you had an issue with a lecturer or you just got denied your Student Assistance Fund (SAF) grant, who do you go to? Not Ghostbusters but your Students’ Union that provides free, independent and confidential advice. The University can’t provide that service effectively if they are the cause of your issue. The TU Dublin Students’ Union would be autonomous from the University, which gives it freedom to take all necessary action to help a student and campaign for the rights of all students.

What do you NEED to do

You simply need to present your DIT Student Card at the polling station in your campus, take a ballot paper and put a ✔️ in that YES box. This is because you agree and support the establishment of TU Dublin Students’ Union for all of the above reasons and many more. Your Union does a lot for students and can do so much better. So use this opportunity to make a statement and become part of history in creating the biggest Students’ Union in the country!

On behalf of your President and all the elected officers in DITSU, ITTDSU and ITBSU, we ask that you VOTE YES on 19th and 20th February!

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