Elections for Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) class representatives are to take place online this year as part of a range of measures to move away from physical processes amid Covid-19.
TCDSU Education Officer Megan O’Connor announced on Twitter that this year class representatives nominations and elections are to be held online in line with College and government social distancing guidelines.
Speaking to Trinity News, O’Connor said that she had put her “blood, sweat and tears” into the new system over the summer.
O’Connor said that there would be “more details to follow”, as TCDSU are still finalizing contracts to run the new system come September 28.
“It’s very very exciting what we have,” O’Connor continued.
She continued: “I hope that I have sorted a permanent solution to a lot of things.”
Speaking about the new system, O’Connor agreed that the project could be a solution in a post-Covid campus and said that the system could increase engagement in the elections.
Earlier this year, the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) held elections for its sabbatical officer positions online after College closed before the elections took place.
The elections were run by an independent online elections company, Mi-Voice, and hustings and voting were held online.
The GSU saw its highest ever turnout in an election, with 670 postgraduate students voting across three days.
Last year, several TCDSU class representatives were wrongfully deemed elected due to a technical difficulty with a newly implemented online voting system developed by students.
The system was trialled in a small number of schools in College, but issues arose with the sharing of links to vote in the elections.
Despite last year’s technical error with class representative elections, overall engagement in class rep elections went up compared to previous years.
TCDSU said it recorded the highest ever number of nominations for class representatives last year, with 790 undergraduate students putting their names forward to sit on Council.
It was announced today that three marquees are to be erected on campus under plans to create socially-distanced recreation spaces for students to use between lectures.
The spaces will operate between 9am and 6pm and will be available to book in 45-minute slots.
Classes are to resume on September 28 for continuing students, with many students returning to College for the first time since March 12.
Additional reporting by Patrick Coyle.