Boni tells us the ins and outs of DIT's Student's Union.
Freshers nationwide are making their way, nervously, to their first lectures and tutorials, unsure of what to expect. Starting college can be a daunting time, as those who have been through it can attest to. But luckily, there are people to help you. Every college has their own Student's Union, ready to help students with whatever they need. We spoke to SU President, Boni Odoemene, about what your SU can do for you.
What is your manifesto for the upcoming year? What do you hope to achieve over the next year?
My big manifesto points here in DITSU would involve the negotiations around a student levy, the implementation of the Technological Universities Bill, and the DIT move to Grangegorman. In this next year, I hope to see the passing of the TU Bill and creating a student friendly structure within the formation of the TU4D.
What do you feel your team’s strong points are?
I believe that my team this year is very strong all round. However, where I see great strengths would be in the teams ability to first maintain, and then build on the democratic structures within DITSU, whilst carrying the student body along.
For freshers and students interested in getting involved in college life and societies, what advice would you give to them?
Definitely would be to just get involved and go to as much as possible. Whether that be with friends or by yourself, just get out and see what the college has in store!!
How important is it, in your opinion, for students to be involved in their SU?
I think it's important, but not too important. DITSU is here for all DIT students, and it is our job to get involved with our students. That is what's most important, not the other way around.
What do you think are the biggest struggles of Irish students today? How can we fight them?
I'd say, the financial access into 3rd level education, & accommodation. There are many ways in which we can fight these two things, the question is, which way is the most effective? At DITSU we work with USI in the fight against proposed loan schemes, and locally we provide accommodation leaflets for our students. However there is still so much more that should be done, and we're committed to work with USI in pushing these issues nationally.
In your opinion, what is the best approach to creating a united student voice in order to ensure our concerns aren’t ignored by the politicians?
I believe that Student Unions must be flexible and consistently up to date. My big thing last year during my first term as President was to enhance DITSU's communications arsenal. So we brought in new ways to reach the student body and introduced new ways students could get involved in DITSU. In terms of creating a united student voice it is important for all SUs to firstly have a strong class rep system where the voice of all classes can be heard, then a democratic structure in which these voices can be raised right through. In DITSU, we have a strong class rep base, which feeds into our school rep system, which then feeds into our student council which is the highest democratic body in our Union. This system has worked very well for us, and here, it leaves no stone unturned.
What are your opening hours? What is the easiest way for students to contact you?
We're open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Best way would be to just pop into any of our offices across the city. If you miss us, just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find out more about DITSU here.