Education Officer, James Donoghue has been mandated to present a formal report on the feasibility of establishing a Postgraduates’ Students’ Union (SU).
There is a history of poor postgraduate engagement with the SU and with the university in DCU with Postgraduates not currently being represented on the SU exec. The election for a Postgraduate Officer last week did not reach quorum, the position was not filled in the elections in March.
“This issue has been an absolute indictment based on the fact that previous Students’ Union execs were asked to look into this and didn’t do their job so this is resurrecting that,” said Returning Officer, Steven Conlon who brought the motion to Class Rep Council (CRC).
“Postgraduate representation is incredibly weak. James and his predecessor have done a significant amount of work to improve that and that has to be acknowledged,” added Conlon.
The CRC voted in favour of the motion. “It’s not for a Graduates’ Union, it’s to investigate the possibility of having a graduates SU,” CRC chair, Katie Dawson reiterated.
The council voted to defer a motion to look into the possibly of establishing a SU-run Student-Assistance Fund after Economics, Politics and Law student, Sean Cassidy raised concerns about the affect the fund would have on the constitution. “What we are doing affects our funding. Our constitution says that we cannot give out money to charity. I propose we defer this and the exec come back with data,” he said.
Cassidy brought his own motion to the council which was voted upon and as a result the SU will now be obligated to stock sanitary towels for students. The recent outrage in the UK over the luxury tax applied to tampons and sanitary towels inspired Cassidy’s motion.
“We apply a zero rate they’re still highly expensive,” Cassidy told the CRC last Tuesday. “IADT stock these for students. It’s a simple idea, it makes sense it helps out our students who are in need,” he continued.
The motion got support from SU President, Kim Sweeney. “It’s better to have them there on display, easier to access. We’re not talking about handing them out or throwing them at people constantly, they’re there. I think it’s a great motion and it should definitely be passed,” she advised the Council.