The Students’ Union’s official stance surrounding abortion is now pro-choice following a preferendum on reproductive rights last week.
Students were given five options and were asked to rate them in order of preference. The options were: pro-life, pro-choice, legislation & amendment, legislation and no stance. 1496 students voted comfortably surpassing the 749 quota. An overwhelming majority of 1057 voted for a pro-choice stance while 189 voted for pro-life.
When surveyed by The College View last week, 43 per cent of DCU students said the eighth amendment was one of the issues that mattered to them in the run up to the general election.
A referendum amending the DCU constitution was also passed last week.
The constitutional referendum was passed with a majority of 1381 yes votes, with just 221 voting no. The number of valid votes was 1602, exceeding the minimum requirement of 1300.
The constitutional amendment will see changes in four different areas and will allow for the full amalgamation of DCU, St Pats and Mater Dei, this year.
Under the changes an Irish Language officer will be appointed to the SU. It will be a part-time position and will be voted upon in the upcoming SU election.
The Irish Language Officer will act as a representative for Irish speaking students and, according to Caoimhe Ní Chathail, chairperson of Cumann Gaelach, will have a “significant impact on the campus as a whole.”
“We would love to see the Irish Officer assist with the creation of Irish language campus accommodation, encourage DCU to become a bilingual campus and implement DCU’s responsibilities and policies regarding the Irish language,” she said.
The SU election dates are another area that will be subject to amendment as a result of the referendum. Traditionally elections are held in week 9 of semester two but will now be pushed back to week 10 in order to accommodate St Pats’ 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,” said SU President, Kim Sweeney.
While proposed in the constitutional referendum, the final decision with regards the date will be made by Class Rep Council and Returning Officer Steve Conlon.
Other amendments include a change in the number of required nominations needed to run in SU elections and the creation of a gender neutral constitution.
When voting, students were not asked to vote on each amendment but simply asked to approve or disapprove all of the changes as a whole.