Some DCU classes went nine weeks without representation in the class rep council due to delays and technical disruption to the voting process.
Problems arose when the online voting system for class reps, hosted on the website Loop, failed and students were unable to vote for the nominated candidates. Voting was also delayed by additional technical disruption and postponed due to the college being closed for Storm Ophelia.
Siobhán McTague, VP for Engagement and Development, addressed the first meeting of the council last Wednesday to apologise on behalf of the Student Union for the long delay.
This is the first year that DCU has attempted to host class rep voting online, instead of a physical ballot. The Students. Union decided not to run a pilot vote to test the system which was suggested by ISS when they were first approached with the idea.
“We kinda said no, lets just go ahead and try undergraduate students this year and won’t try postgraduates and by next year we will hopefully get all students online,” said McTague.
ISS worker Mark Glynn, who was initially contacted by the SU to set up the online voting, went on leave during the process and was replaced by a colleague who did not understand the task he was supposed to undertake to make the voting available on Loop.
The replacement ISS worker who was put in charge of the voting system confused the class rep voting system with the executive vote which took place in March of last year.
“[He] proved very difficult to get in contact with and when I did he did not seem to understand what needed to be done,” said McTague.
“I realised he thought I was talking about the executive online elections even though I stated to him, but you know when you’re not in the SU you kind of don’t understand it.”
A deadline of 2pm on Tuesday the 14th of November was set for all class reps to be elected, which is week nine and three quarters into semester one of the college year.
The late deadline is partly due classes having no nominees, and the positions needing to be filled.
McTague was criticised by members of the council, saying there was a sever lack of communication from the SU in regards to the issue.
The Vice President said that due to the difficulties in the voting, she took charge of the first year elections, and then enlisted the help of the faculty reps to oversee the other classes’ elections.
“Over two weeks we elected over 300 class reps, we have about 326 at the moment and together though work and perseverance we came through and came up with a remedy to a very unfortunate situation.”