The first student council of 2018 was sure to be event-filled and it certainly was. From questions around the Grangegorman/Broombridge site, to the issues around the Health Care Facility, there was a lot to talk about and I’m going to take you through the most important moments.
As with every meeting, we begin with updates from USI (which is always delievered by a USI representative). Here are some of the updates we recieved;
- The Women Lead event took place in Smithfield this year and it ended up being the largest one so far
- On the 20th of January, there was a great turnout from DITSU students for the protest for transgender healthcare
- 25000 euros have been sourced for voter registration for EU issues such as climate change
- The 7th of April will be the National Day of Action Against Student Housing
- The Student Achievement Awards is open and it is open to all USI students. Nominations are open now so you can enter
Another asked what happened with the swimming pool proposal? Unfortunately, they kept hitting a wall with DIT about this. There is no physical plan for a pool in Grangegorman. They are still trying to find a way to deal with this.
Finally, another council member asked whether or not the facilities on the Broombridge site will be free for students? The answer to this was simply “we don’t know yet”. Of course, they do not want the same situation as in UCD. If a levy was introduced then there would be no extra fees however as of right now, we do not even know what we will have in the student center.
Both DIT Clubs and Socities had representatives to give updates. In Socities, their Christmas Appeal had raised over 9 grand, two grand more than the previous year. The SUITS ball will be taking place on the 8th of March (get your tickets for that!) and a Darkness into Light walk on the 6th of May in Grangegorman.
Meanwhile in Clubs, a Sports council has been set up, consisting of 5 members, this was formed back in December. They are working on improving the relationship between Clubs and Societies. Sports are prioritizing the possibility of getting a swimming pool on Grangegorman campus. The activity costs would be included in the Student Levy. The Sports awards will be taking place on the 9th of April.
In regards to officer reports, there was not too much to update on (that’s what happens when you go on Christmas break and finish a semester!) However, VP of Education said that while the exam results came out on the 9th of February, he would try to work on getting the results out earlier, as by this period, many students will have been waiting almost a month (or in some cases over a month) for their results and it is not ideal.
The President announced that the last student council of the year will be an overnight council and it will be taking place on the 24th of April. Apparently this used to be tradition and for some reason it stopped but he is looking to bring it back.
Finally in important events at the Student Souncil, two motions were put forward. Firstly, a student council member put forward a motion to bring dental dams into SU offices. She even gave us a demonstration of what a dental dam is and how it can be used; if you don’t know, it is another typ eof sexual barrier, used during oral sex. Just like the condom, it helps prevent the spread of STIs and diseases. The aim of this motion was to bring them into SU offices because it is very difficult for studenst to get due to the price and lack of avaliability of the product. Many other SU’s provide these for free and we should do the same. The aim would be to have them on all campuses by the 1st of July 2018.
Student council voted YES to the motion.
Then, finally, an emergency motion was brought up. The VP of Welfare informed council that the staff at the Health Centre in Linenhall was extremely low. It was flagged four months ago and nothing was done about it. The issue of having low staff has led to the Health Centre being closed for 2.5 days a week. It is essentially a staffing crisis and the VP of Welfare herself did not know about this until the Friday before th meeting. She proposed to lobby an investigation into what caused this and also an immediate review of HR recruitmenet, as this could uncover a much bigger problem that needs to be dealt with.
Student council voted YES to the emergency motion and an update will be given at February’s meeting.
Despite not being on Council, I’m always glad to attend these meetings because I can really stay informed on what’s going on within DITSU and DIT. Even though you can’t vote on any motions, it’s still really useful to go and stay involved with everything; I highly recommend it! It’s on once a month, every month (until April). Otherwise you can keep up with events and updates on the DITSU facebook pages!