Ireland's largest students' union, and the first in a Technological University, was officially launched today.
The TU Dublin SU has almost 30,000 members and operates across nine sites and three campuses throughout Dublin.
The President of TU Dublin SU, Rebecca Gorman, said today’s launch is the end point of a nearly 10-year long process. In February 2011, the then government committed to proceed with legislation to establish technological universities in Ireland.
Ms Gorman outlined the work undertaken by the TU Students' Union since 2011. This included working closely with management in three of the legacy institutes - DIT, ITB and ITT. She said the groups examined how a new TU could benefit students and the wider community.
According to Ms Gorman, the TU Dublin SU engaged with the Department of Education and Skills. The SU lobbied the previous governments and Oireachtas members to further strengthen the student voice and input into the governance of the new Technological Universities.
During the COVID-19 crisis, the SU held elections online to elect new officers and a President. The SU also executed a merger of the three unions into a new company structure.
Students' Union Priorities
Ms Gorman set out the new students’ union’s priorities going forward.
“TU Dublin SU is currently in the middle of what is quite a challenging process of negotiating a new partnership agreement and a fair central agreement on funding for the SU with TU Dublin management so that we can continue to offer a quality service to almost 30,000 students," she said.
Ms Gorman said that while TU Dublin is a brand new university, the Union will be there to hold it to account. She said the SU will ensure the student voice is present throughout the organisation.
“TU Dublin SU has a proud history to look back on, and we look forward to developing and progressing our work and transforming the university experience for our almost 30,000 members," she said.
"COVID-19 has exacerbated issues our members have been already experiencing, from limited access to mental health services, to high fees and little to no grant support," she said. "We will be continuing the fight for publicly-funded third level education, and ensuring that TU Dublin invests in the student supports which are needed now more than ever."