The new DCU Students’ Union (SU) will comprise of five sabbatical officers across the Glasnevin and St.Patrick’s College campuses.
Some 85 per cent of DCU students voted to amend the DCUSU constitution to facilitate the change in the current SU structure to allow for the amalgamation of the DCU, St. Pat’s, Mater Dei and the Church of Ireland College of Education Students’ Unions.
Class Representative Council (CRC) voted to approve changes to the composition of the sabbatical team for the newly incorporated DCUSU following a period of lengthy consultation. Welfare Officer, Domhnall Harkin chose to raise his concerns regarding the change to the welfare role during said CRC.
“I was concerned that having only one welfare officer between the two campuses would not be very practical, there is always a demand for the service. Also, this will mean there will be times that both campuses don’t have an officer on site and I am worried that students will be at a loss due to this,” said Harkin.
Harkin added that “DCU is a democracy and the CRC have made their decision, as an Officer of the Union – I totally respect this decision and I will always accept the majority will of the Class Reps.”
According to the referendum information document circulated to students prior to the referendum: “This proposed new structure will enhance the representation structures for DCU students with a sabbatical – student ratio of 1- 3,200 compared to 1-4,000 currently.”
According to the minutes of the CRC, President of the SU, Kim Sweeney disagreed with Harkin’s suggestion. Sweeney has since said “The overwhelming majority of Class Reps decided that the proposed executive makeup is best for DCU students, this was also supported by the councils of Mater Dei and St Patrick’s College.”
Sweeney added that “our council and the other councils made the best informed decision for the benefit of the student body of the new DCUSU.”
“If the role was duplicated, it would impact on the policy role, causing conflict between the two due to issues of seniority” said SU member, Sean Cassidy.
Andrew Ralph and Katie O’Neill