DIT elects first African-born student union president
2016-04-01 10:58:07 -

By Chinedu Onyejelem


The DIT Students’ Union has elected its first African-Irish president.

Boni Odoemene (20), a final year law student in DIT Aungier Street, recently won the tightly contested Ditsu presidential election by 99 votes.

Metro Éireann has learned that Odoemene received a total of 2012 first-preference votes against his only challenger Sarah O’Shea’s 1861.

When second count results were announced, Odoemene’s final vote was 2039 against O’Shea’s 1940. Odoemene was deemed elected when the remaining 136 votes were non-transferable.

Speaking to Metro Éireann after his election victory, Odoemene – who came to Ireland from Nigeria at the age of six – said: “There are several reasons why I ran to be the next president of the DIT Students’ Union, one of them being that I wanted to prove that it does not matter where you are from, what skin colour you are or how you speak. Just work hard for whatever it is you want and surely you shall get there.

“I wanted to inspire those who may come from a non-Irish or multicultural background that ‘you’ can do great things. No matter how tough the task may be, or how hard ‘they’ make it for you. Just focus on your goal and work towards your success.”

A student at DIT for the past three years, Odoemene has been active in student politics, as well as co-founder and current president of the DIT Law Society, and previously school rep for the School of Languages, Law and Social Studies, head of social media for the DIT Fashion Society and a DITSU student councillor and class rep.

Currently DITSU college officer for Aungier Street, Odoemene described winning the union presidency as “the tensest yet greatest moment of my life”.

In his manifesto, Odoemene said he would work to help DITSU regain its lost glory. 

“We must come back to what the union was originally created to do, be the voice for the voiceless, and work for a better future for the students of DIT.” 

He also promised, among other things to create DITSU’s first ever international officer, aimed at better representation of “the views and interest of our large International student population” which has grown over the years.”

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