Referendum polling took place on 22nd, 23rd and 24th November, and all registered TU Dublin students were able to vote either Yes or No for the proposed constitutional changes.

The results came out on the 25th November 2022. 5726 students used their voice, with 96.4% voting yes. This means that the referendum has passed, and the new TU Dublin Students' Union constitution will come into effect on the 1st July 2023. You can find the old and the new constitution below as well as the main changes. Officer elections will take place in spring 2023 according to the new constitution.

Thank you to everyone who voted and had their say!

 

What is a Referendum? 

A Referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate (in this case the TU Dublin student body) is invited to vote on a particular proposal in relation to TU Dublin SU.

 

What is a Constitution?

A Constitution is a statement of the basic principles and laws of a nation, state, or group (in this case TU Dublin SU). The principles and rules set out in a constitution govern we, as a democratic organisation must operate. This must be adopted by all members.

 

For any changes to be made to TU Dublin SU’s constitution, a Referendum must be held and at least 10% of the TU Dublin student body must participate. Please find the current and the proposed constitution that you will be voting on here:

 

For neutral independent information on this Referendum, please find Electoral Commission Referendum Neutral Fact Sheet here.

 

TU Dublin SU advocates students to vote YES in order to improve and develop your Students’ Union! 

 

What changes are being proposed?

The main proposed changes are to

  • The Officer Structure 

  • Student Council 

  • TUDSU CLG 

  • The Impeachment process for Officers 

  • There are also smaller changes being proposed which we will outline below 

 

Where to vote?

  • Blanchardstown Main Foyer in C block: 22nd, 23rd and 24th November 2022 9:30am – 7:30pm  
  • Central Quad Main Foyer: 22nd, 23rd and 24th November 2022 9:30am – 7:30pm  
  • East Quad Main Foyer: 22nd,  23rd and 24th November 2022 9:30am – 7:30pm  
  • Aungier Street Main Entrance area: 22nd, 23rd and 24th November 2022 9:30am – 7:30pm  
  • Bolton Street Stage area: 22nd, 23rd and 24th November 2022 9:30am – 7:30pm  
  • Tallaght Main Foyer: 22nd, 23rd and 24th November 2022 9:30am – 7:30pm  
  • BIMM Reception area: 22nd November 2022 10:30am – 3:30pm  
  • Linenhall Reception area: 23rd November 2022 10:30am – 3:30pm  
  • Premier House Reception area: 24th November 2022 10:30am – 3:30pm 

The Officer Structure 

Background 

When DIT, ITB and ITT Students’ Union merged, the overall President was the only new role that was introduced. All other officer roles were the same as pre-merger. It was always intended that a new structure for the new TU Dublin SU would be necessary and that a constitutional referendum would be held. 

The current structure is unbalanced with 21 officers across our campuses: 3 Welfare & Equality Officers, 2 Education Officers, 1 Events Officer and various Part-Time Officers that have completely different roles on each campus and some of them in positions covering work that TU Dublin SU does or is performed by someone else. 

The new structure was created to reflect a Union that works across 5 Campuses for 30,000 students. 

 

Diagram

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The proposed new structure is as follows: 

  • 4 overall Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs,Welfare & Equality, Events & Engagements, and Communications & Media, who will develop overall policy, campaigns and events for the whole of TU Dublin. 

  • 3 Campus Vice Presidents for Blanchardstown,City and Tallaght responsible for rolling out campaigns on their local campus, running local events, electing class reps, engaging the students and being the local face for their campus, working on sustainability initiatives on their campus and dealing with facility issues. 

  • There will also be one overall President and one Postgraduate Officer who works part-time.

  • Part-Time Officers will now be voluntary overall roles across each campus. They will all be elected through student council and focus on specific themes: Gender Equality, Sustainability, ACCESS, Ethnic Diversity, Mature Student, International Student, Gaeilge, LGBTQ+ Rights, and Disabilities. 

  • Due to the amalgamations of schools across TU Dublin, we no longer have School Reps due to the complex nature of having to elect them. Instead, the seats of the School Reps have been given to each of their respective campus as student councillors seats. 

 

 

 

In summary the new proposed structure aims to ensure: 

  • Campus Representation 

  • Streamline the work and ensure collaboration 

  • Stronger Student Involvement 

 

Roles - Overall, Full Time Officers 

President 

  • Chief spokesperson of the Union. 

  • Drives Union political strategy. 

  • Leads the SU Executive.

  • Member of TU Dublin Governing Body and Academic Council. 

  • Champions the student voice in TU Dublin.

VP for Academic Affairs 

  • Represents students in academic committees in TU Dublin e.g., Academic Council. 

  • Promotes student representation and partnership with TU Dublin in academic systems, e.g., quality assurance. 

  • Organises training and skill sessions for class reps and discipline representatives. 

  • Deliver campaigns on academic topics, e.g., Class Rep 

  • Recruitment, Exam Support, Academic Integrity, Student Survey etc. 

  • Lobbies for additional supports and improving the academic experience for students. 

VP for Events & Engagement 

  • Works to improve the services?of the Union for students. 

  • Develop training and activities to strengthen the student experience and organise workshops 

  • Create new initiatives in the Union to respond to the needs of our members 

  • Takes the lead on overall events and RAG

  • Improve our representation structures for our members

  • Promotes the work of the Union to our members. 

  • Regularly gathers feedback from our members 

  • Lobby for Institutional change in addressing the climate crisis and equipping students with skills to address it. 

VP for Welfare & Equality 

  • Lobbies for equality, diversity, and inclusion policies in TU Dublin. 

  • Creates Welfare and Equality campaigns such as: sexual, physical & mental health, consent, direct provision, period poverty, LGBTQ+ rights etc. 

  • Works with the SU advice service. 

  • Provide accurate information on student welfare to the student body. 

  • Campaign for student supports and rights in TU Dublin, e.g. accommodation, support grants. 

VP for Communications & Media 

  • Responsible for maintaining an active social media presence for the SU across all social media platforms. 

  • Promoting SU events, campaigns and all other activities. 

  • Answer queries that are received via the social media channels that are not handled by the advice service. 

  • Attend campaign planning meetings for education, welfare, and events teams. 

  • Work with the Communications Executive and Graphic Designer to push out a consistent and unified message from the union via our social media accounts, websites, and printed materials. 

  • Promoting the services the union provides, e.g. Advice Service, The Hub, etc. 

  • Overlook the Student Media Crew and help allocate students to cover campaigns when needed. 

  • Responsible for establishing a student media outlet which is currently mandated by student council. 

Campus Vice Presidents 

1 each based in Blanchardstown, City and Tallaght Campuses

  • Works on the campus with students

  • Attends local meetings,e.g. health and safety

  • Runs events, campaigns and activities on the campus 

  • Strengthens communications and engagement with students on the campus. 

  • Elects and supports class reps 

  • Works to resolve class issues and improve the campus 

  • Lobby for Institutional change in addressing the climate crisis and equipping students with skills to address it on a local level.

Postgraduate Officer (Overall, Part-time) 

  • Represents Postgraduate students at TU Dublin’s Governing Body and Academic Council. 

  • Gathers feedback from Postgraduates and feeds it into TU Dublin SU Policy.

  • Attends committees and working groups as appropriate.

  • Ensures the SU is accessible to Postgraduates and provides the activities they require.

 

Changes to Student Council

  • The reduction of officer positions and removal of School Reps means that?there are more Student Councillor positions. Electoral Commission will decide the allocation of student council seats to each of the campuses based on the population size. 

  • Officers will be able to run for 2 years instead of 3.

  • School Representative Structures will be replaced with the new structure to Part-Time Officers to empower students to be more involved within the Union and take on more work.

  • Quorum in Student Council Meetings could be called but is not automatically counted. 

  • Minimum of annual Student Council Meetings would be reduced from 7 to 6.

  • We are making an amendment to procedural motion 9C - “A motion that the question be taken in specific parts” It will now be “A motion that the question be amended (this may include the inclusion or deletion of text)” 

  • We are introducing “Point of Clarification” - Points of Clarification may be raised in the same way as Points of Order. They shall consist of relevant questions that are neither for or against the presented issue. 

 

Changes to the board of TU Dublin SU CLG

The changes in the officer structures cause changes to the board of TU Dublin SU CLG as follows:

  • The Deputy Presidents in the Board of Directors are proposed to be replaced with the 4 Overall Vice Presidents

  • The members of the Company are proposed to be reduced from 13 to 10, including the 3 Campus Vice Presidents, Postgraduate officer and 6 students (at least 1 from Blanch, 2 from City and 1 from Tallaght)

 

New Impeachment Process 

  • New article would be added on Recall of Office and Impeachment of officers

  • This article states that any position that is elected can be removed by a vote of the same electorate that elected them. This requires a 10% petition that leads to a vote. 

  • The removal of elected officers has a separate process. 200 (Campus Specific VPs) and 400 (Overall Positions) students from the officer’s electorate must sign a petition to be submitted to Electoral Commission, for it to go to a Student Council vote. A student Council vote where 66% must vote in favour to remove the officer in order to hold an all-student vote where a simple majority would be needed for the removal of the officer.

 

Other Changes

  • New Schedule is added which concludes the timelines that SU has to follow (e.g. “Class Rep Meetings shall elect representatives to be members of Student Council by 6th week of the semester “)

  • The Appeals Tribunal is removed

  • The decisions of Chair of Student Council and the Executive are to be recorded 

  • President appoints a Deputy from the Full-Time Officers, and if the president resigns/leaves before 31st October a by-election takes place. If it's after 31st October the deputy becomes president. If 2/3 of council objects to deputy being president, council elects a president from one of the other officers.

 

Smaller Changes

  • Smaller changes, such as replacing the name “Sabbatical Officers” with “Full-Time Officers” are made to clarify the constitution.

 

Any questions about the constitution can be sent to president@tudublinsu.ie or to anna.perho@tudublinsu.ie.