DCUSU referendum result: 93% of students vote in favour of Constitutional amendments

By Hayley Halpin

Following months of preparation, the referendum to amend the DCU Students’ Union Constitution was passed by 93 per cent last night.

Acting Returning Officer Andy Dunne began the evening of election results with the constitutional referendum results. The quorum of 1680 voters was reached just a couple of hours before voting closed at 5pm.

A total of 1854 students voted in the referendum, with an outstanding 1731 voting in favour of the referendum and 123 people voting against the proposed changes.

The referendum was called following Class Representative Council voting in favour of the suggested changes within the document.

Chaired by First Year Officer Bryan Mulry, a Constitutional Review Committee, comprising of 13 members, were elected at the final CRC of semester one to overlook and modify the DCUSU Constitution.

Speaking to The College View, Returning Officer Cat O’Driscoll said: “I welcome the engagement of the student body with the democratic structures of their Union.”

“Referendums and elections are only valid if 10% of the student population cast a vote and in a time where young people are excluded or disengaged from democracy globally this could have been a challenge.

“That being said there is still a long way to go to engage all members of the union. The new constitution should improve engagement as it has cleared up or clarified some issues and given a better structure for the Class Rep system,” O’Driscoll said.

Read more on the Constitutional Referendum:

Constitutional Review Committee elected at final CRC of semester

Many amendments to the Constitution were made, with some including:

Class Reps are now elected in line with the number of people in their class. The new amendment states that “the number of Class Representatives elected per class shall be in line with the number of students in their class.” Every class of up to 75 students will have two reps. For every additional 75 students another class rep will be allocated.

Following months of heated debates surrounding the SU’s power to call a referendum,  it was ultimately voted to amend the constitution to clarify that the SU may not hold the power to call a referendum without first consulting CRC.

The position of Postgraduate Officer will be retained as an Executive position under the new constitution, despite being removed in the draft constitution presented to CRC in semester one.

Read more on the Constitutional Referendum:

CRC votes to hold referendum on constitutional changes

The new Constitution “also clarifies things and makes things more accessible. There is now a clarity on the system for removing a Class Rep, what happens if a Sabat steps down and the position of the Returning Officer,” Mulry said.

“We didn’t want there to be any ambiguity in the document, which was the main cause of the emergency CRC and the drama that unfolded last semester.”

“This constitution cleans up the work done by the last committee and creates a DCUSU that represents the New DCU, with more students, more campuses and a wider range of problems to be dealt with,” he said.

Hayley Halpin