System errors leaves some DCU students to vote by paper

A system error has caused DCU students to vote by paper ballot for Education Faculty rep rather than online.

Some students were registered in the Humanities faculty rather than the Institute of Education.

Cat O’Driscoll, DCU’s new returning officer explained: “Because they’re currently listed on the website as humanities faculties, their voting homepage doesn’t show the Education Faculty rep elections.”

The Education Faculty rep role is a new position. It will represent students from DCU and St. Pat’s studying education courses. The DCU students studying Education and Training will attend lectures on St. Pat’s next year as the amalgamation takes place.

All students can view the universal franchise positions but can only vote for candidates running for roles within their faculties.

Attempts to work with ISS to resolve the issue were hindered out of fear of tampering with student records and the possibility of knock-on effects.

This mix up led to a paper ballot box being used which comes at a disadvantage for one candidate.

Emma Tunnicliffe from DCU is running for the role. She said: “Hopefully faculty will turn out. It is much easier if people can do it on their phone but I’m hopeful.”

O’Driscoll assured that the floating ballot box would be easy for students to find. “We’re trying to make it as fair as possible. We’re going to make it available close to the classes affected. But I’m trying to put together a list of classes affected,” she said.

“We originally thought it was just second years, but we’re finding out that more and more students actually don’t have access. Including some St. Pat’s students.”

This comes as a help to St. Pats Caoilinn Ní Thaidhg who was in the Gaeltacht during campaigning week.

She spoke about her campaign’s limitations: “I am at a disadvantage. I haven’t been able to physically campaign on campus.

“I’m also severely lacking in WiFi and phone coverage so simply getting in contact with people is very difficult.”

Both candidates are promising to make the transition from DCU to St. Pat’s easier on students.

“I’m going to arrange an induction day,” said Tunnicliffe. “So that students are shown where their classes will be. There will be tours and they’ll get to meet with the ambassadors of St. Pats.”

Ní Thaidhg says she will help facilitate meetings with lecturers and show students around. Despite her absence from both campuses, she has DCU campaign team.

“ I have an amazing team that has been speaking to people on my behalf. I hope to get my own face there, rather than just being on a piece of paper.”

Voting closes Wednesday at 5pm.

Aura McMenamin

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