Voting for class representatives opens today

Nominations for class reps were extended as TCDSU called for students to register to vote

Voting in the Trinity College Dublin’s Students’ Union (TCDSU) elections for class representatives is due to open today in a new digital format.

In order to vote in the elections, students must register through a online form before they can place their vote.

In an email to students on Friday, Trinity College Dublin’s Students’ Union (TCDSU) extended the nomination period for class representatives until Monday at 12pm, having opened the nomination process on September 28.

The union said that voting is being carried out in different format than usual this year due to Covid-19 restrictions and invited students to register to vote with the new online voting system. This will allow all students to vote “safely and remotely”.

In order to register to vote, students have been asked to fill out a Google form with their Trinity email, student ID number, faculty, year and their course. Students are also required to give General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) consent for the processing of their personal information.

Students who are elected as class rep are tasked with representing their class group in any issues that arise with either TCDSU or their school.

Status as a class rep also grants students voting membership of the students’ union at Council, which meets around once a month during the academic semester and deals with the general running of the union.

Depending on their size, some classes have multiple class reps.

In a previous email on October 4, TCDSU said that they were “blown away” by the number of sign-ups they had received, but there were still “many classes without a representative”.

Voting in Class Rep elections opens today, Wednesday October 14 at 12pm and closes on Friday October 16 at 4pm.

Faulty execution of a small online voting system trial last year led to confusion and mistakes in a few schools. However, overall engagement in class rep elections went up compared to previous years.

The 2019 election cycle saw an improvement in several sectors, most significantly in engagement. The paper ballots, which were late last year, all arrived on time and there were no unforeseen issues.

TCDSU received the highest number of class rep nominations in 2019, with 790 names being put forward. This led to 371 of 494 class rep positions being filled, 93 more than last year and 49 more than the year before.

In its annual class rep elections report last year, the union did not recommend rolling out online elections in sabbat elections following several online issues with class rep elections last year that made some election ballots void.

With increased engagement with class rep elections last year, the union attributed the increase to the persuasive abilities of part time officers as well as additional incentives such as free pringles and class rep training which they could draw focus to.

Kate Henshaw

Kate Henshaw is current Editor-in-Chief of Trinity News, and a graduate of Sociology and Social Policy. She previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.