Referendum on new TU Dublin Students’ Union passes with overwhelming majority

Over 95% of students vote to establish new union

Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) students have voted to create a new overarching students’ union across its City, Blanchardstown, and Tallaght campuses, with more than 95% students voting Yes to the new union.

A referendum was held on Tuesday and Wednesday asking students to vote on the formation of Technological University Dublin Students’ Union (TU Dublin SU), with votes counted on Thursday morning.

TU Dublin was established as Ireland’s first technological university earlier this year with the amalgamation of Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB) and Institute of Technology Tallaght (ITT).

Results emerged from the Tallaght campus first, where the referendum passed with a 98.8% majority. 96% of Blanchardstown students voted Yes, while the City campus passed the vote with a 95.2% Yes vote.

Speaking to Trinity News, ITTSU President Amy Keatinge stated: “I am absolutely delighted with the result and I am extremely proud of my team and my students who campaigned tirelessly this week to ensure the new constitution was accepted. This is a historic moment and I am so proud to see the students of the students voting with an overwhelming Yes.”

DITSU, ITTSU and ITBSU will continue to operate until June 30, with TU Dublin SU officially launching on July 1. Elections for TU Dublin SU officers are expected to be held by the end of March.

The draft constitution for TU Dublin SU was accepted by Student Councils in the three campuses in January. The constitution outlines that on its adoption, “any student who was a member of the Students’ Unions of the Dublin Institute of Technology, the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown or the Institute of Technology Tallaght immediately prior to this, shall be deemed to be a member of this Union, for so long as they remain current registered students of the University”.

The three previous unions campaigned for a Yes vote in the referendum, which required all three campuses to vote yes in order for TU Dublin SU to be established.

TU Dublin SU is to be governed by a Student Council with 101 members, comprising the union’s sabbatical and part-time officers, student representatives from each School, and student councillors elected by class representatives on each campus.

Students across all three campuses will elect the TU Dublin SU President, while each campus will individually elect a Deputy President to the union. Students on City campus will elect Vice-Presidents for Education, Welfare & Equality, and Events and Engagement, while students on the Tallaght campus will elect Vice-Presidents for Education and Welfare & Equality, and Blanchardstown students will elect a Vice President for Welfare & Equality.

Six part-time officers will be elected from the City campus, four from the Tallaght campus, and two from the Blanchardstown campus, in keeping with the structures of the old union’s on each campus.

TU Dublin was established under the Technological Universities Act 2018. Its application for designation as a technological university was approved in July 2018, before being officially established in January 2019. Earlier this month, Cork Institute of Technology (Cork IT) and Institute of Technology Tralee (IT Tralee) submitted a bid to merge and form Ireland’s second technological university. The outcome of the application is expected to come in July ahead of the new academic year.

This article was updated at 13:30. An earlier version of this article referred to TU Dublin SU as TUDSU.

Lauren Boland

Lauren Boland was the Editor of the 67th volume of Trinity News. She is an English Literature and Sociology graduate and previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.