This semester has been an absolute whirlwind for everyone in DITSU. We have faced so many challenges, and we are still trying to overcome some of them. As the VP for Education, my role covers so many areas in DITSU, and I am trying to do my best to do all of it! From shaping the class rep system to running campaigns I have absolutely loved my first 6 months as an officer.
At the beginning of the year, your full-time officers started their role in July. I was the newest member to join the team, as Pierre and Roisin were in their second year, and Jess was already a part-time officer in DITSU before becoming your Events Officer. I was quite intimidated, and I tried to learn as much as possible at the beginning.
Nothing really could prepare me for the role though, and I feel like it was only until this November that I finally felt fully confident in doing my job the best I could. I am so lucky to be part of a fabulous team that has supported me the whole way through.
My highlights have definitely been the things DITSU have been working on to improve the whole experience for our students. Being there for our students is our core aim, and I wanted to represent you to the best of my ability this semester.
- Our Class Rep Campaign was a great success and a big achievement for me. We made a great video promoting the role, and rolled out an online nomination form to increase overall engagement. It was a fab thing to do and I hope it continues this year.
- The second stand-out moment was the start of the Save our Services campaign, with a student-led protest outside of Governing Body in response to understaffing in our libraries and reduced opening hours. Your Union was largely responsible for highlighting the issue and making sure DIT prioritised it. We have seen a lot of progress, but more is to be done next semester. Shout out to our library staff for going above and beyond for our students!
We have seen some disappointments too to the year, and I want to work on them from January:
- My poor School Reps haven’t been paid much attention – we’ve found it difficult to find a place for them in the DIT structures – hopefully, in TU Dublin they will have a place in the structures.
- An online system for module feedback that would have been a massive benefit for students has been suspended due to concerns from the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI). We hope to open a dialogue with them in the New Year and allow our students to give anonymous feedback and be listened to.
- Although we have had loads of success this year, we are so busy we find it difficult to communicate our big wins to our students. We want you to all know that we are working so hard every day on your behalf, but it’s tough to get the word out there.
For me, I have been struggling to maintain a work/life balance, and spending time with my friends outside of work has been a struggle due to our long working hours. For anyone considering running for the role next year, ensure you find that balance quickly in the year and stick to it – we are all quite close to burnout because of the busy year.
Overall, it has been a wonderful year, and I hope that you find DITSU is working hard in your behalf. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like to hear about what I’m up to, what I should be working on, or any questions if you are considering running for the role yourself!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the year as much as I have! Please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Peace out, Rebecca xoxo