DCU SU has asked students to vote yes in a constitutional referendum, with voting open from today until 5pm Thursday evening.
A ‘yes’ vote will see the DCU constitution amended in five specific areas and will allow for the full amalgamation of DCU, St Pats and Mater Dei. Students can vote through their loop pages by selecting the Students Union option.
If the vote is passed, an Irish Language Officer will be appointed to the Students Union. Such an addition would be an important part of the amalgamation process and would serve to represent Irish speakers in all three colleges, according to SU President, Kim Sweeney.
“St Pats already had one, so if they were to lose one that would be a major loss to them,” she said.
“Cumann na Gaelach have also been lobbying to have an Irish officer for years.”
The position will be part time, with students eligible to run as candidates in the upcoming SU election.
The date of these elections also falls under proposed changes. Traditionally, the election is held in week 9 of semester two. This referendum is proposing that it be moved to week 10, in order to accommodate St Pat’s students.
“Next year St Pats students will be DCU students, and they won’t be able to run in the election because they’ll be on placement at the time,” Kim said.
The referendum is also seeking to reduce the number of required nominations to run for SU elections, as well as making the constitution gender neutral.
A minimum of 10 per cent of the student body must vote in this referendum in order for it to be valid. Students will not have to vote separately for the issues outlined, but will vote yes or no to the overall amendment of the constitution.
When voting, students will also be asked to vote in a preferendum on abortion.
They will be given five choices; pro-life, pro-choice, pro-constitutional amendment, pro-legislation and no stance.
The majority vote will decide what stance the SU will take on the issue. Students have been asked to vote pro-choice.