GRADUATE MEMBERS are to demand their say in the future running of the ICE, after the graduates and students national committee (GSNC) voted unanimously to lobby for full voting rights for graduates.
The committee is currently putting its case together for a formal submission to the ICE's executive board before going for Council approval.
'Graduates pay their subs just as chartered members do, so why can't they get the vote?'
asked graduate Council representative Brian Pope.
Graduates account for one fifth of the ICE's 72,000 members and have campaigned for over six years to get full voting rights.
In 2000, Council voted in favour of allowing two graduate members to sit on Council.
Past GSNC chairman Stephen Larkin said it had taken a long time to get Council to listen to graduate members, but that now the tide is turning.
'Graduate members are now seen as the future of the ICE, but for a while it was only professionally qualified members that had a voice, ' said Larkin.
He added that the views of graduates are particularly important when considering changes to the routes to membership, identified as a priority for the ICE in its five year business plan (see News last week).
'There is a perception that the ICE's routes are more difficult than others, which means that graduates are put off sitting the review or turn to other institutions.
'I suppose graduates have a vested interest in making the entry procedure easier, but I think it is important that it is considered fair process, ' said Larkin.
Last year's chairman Roger Minto is also keen for graduates to vote on the issue of the ICE joining a super 'Institution of Engineers'.
Larkin added that allowing graduate members to vote would encourage them to become more involved in the ICE at the start of their career.
'Prior to becoming chartered in 2000, I felt the frustration of not being able to vote on important issues, ' said Larkin.