DITSU & DIT Funding Agreement Resolution
After a prolonged period of negotiations and discussions, the DITSU and DIT have finally reached a consensus on the funding agreement for the student body for the next three years. This was made known to DITSU News by the President of DITSU, Boni Odoemene, who has been in the frontline of consultations with the governing body at DIT.
Boni in an interview with DITSU News announced that “ DITSU and DIT have finally reached an agreement. The agreement was reached on Friday 9th December, and noted within the DIT governing body on Wednesday 14th December”. This comes after months of uncertainty about the funding of the activities of the union over wordings in the 2016-2019 funding agreement between the College and DITSU.
When questioned about why the union held out that long, in the face of the funding challenge, the president stated that “..we were not sure if we would be able to maintain its independence. So we were not ready to give in, and we were not willing to allow the voices of the students to be infringed upon at all; so we continued to hold back, no matter how consequential it was for us financially.”
Affirming that an agreement has now been reached that runs till 2019, the student leader further stressed that if such challenges should occur in the near future, and the school authorities are perceived to make moves that infringe on the autonomy and independence of the SU, he agreed that he would still advise the leadership of the union to tread this same path; albeit, with lesser patience. Enlisting public support was crucial to the continued ability of the union to exist as an independent body, in the light of the challenges encountered with the DIT.
Boni further lauded the TD’s, Senators, USI, DIT students and the general public for their strong support for the union during the period, and has been particularly full of praises for the DITSU executives and DIT students. In his words, he stated that “ The biggest support I was glad to have was that of the DITSU executives, staff and that of DIT students. Without them, we would never have made this possible. The strength of DITSU was great, and we were able to show that we are a strong, stand-alone, independent and autonomous students union, one of the strongest in the country, were able to get out of such a situation. Together with the external support, DITSU fought internally in those meetings, on our own. We have been able to demonstrate that DITSU knows and understand the political climate here in DIT. What we got was great overall, and we owe a lot to the TD’s, Senators, USI and other bodies who supported us during this period.”
Going forward, the president believes that although the issue with the wording in the agreement has been sorted, this agreement and stance which DITSU took this year plays a larger role in the broader scheme of things. He firmly believes that DITSU has shown that an administration cannot financially chokehold the students’ voice. The union has proven that the students have a far stronger say and voice and that students are not children. DITSU has set the tone for authorities to understand that students ought to be taken as equals in the running of things at the college, rather than as consumers. In the long term, it is envisaged that consultations and subsequent agreement have pushed the DIT in establishing a parity of esteem between the students and the college itself.