First EGM in 24 years fails to reach quorum

By Catríona Hughes

UCD Students’ Union spent over €3,000 on their first Emergency General Meeting in 24 years, despite being €1 million in debt.

The meeting regarding staff members Jacqueline Carey and Anne Dunne, made redundant before Christmas, failed to reach quorum.

On February 6th, the assembly opened to all Students’ Union members and around 1,000 students in order to decide upon the motion, “Should the Union General Meeting overturn the decision by the Union to close the Print Bureau (SU General Office) in the Library/Arts Tunnel?”

The meeting is estimated to have cost over €3,000 for the printing of ballot papers and payment of twelve staff members.

A total of 157 votes were cast, 156 of the votes were valid which left the meeting over 800 votes short of reaching quorum.

Eighty-seven participants voted in favour of the motion, while 69 were opposed. Morgan Shelley, Returning Officer, declared the motion invalid with less than 1% of the student body partaking in the vote.

“I’m disappointed, because let’s be honest, 23,000 students – how many actually elect the Students’ Union? Very few students within the college go for election. We got 3,000 signatures in seven to eight days,” said Elizabeth Coote, the final speaker for the proposition.

Pat de Brún, UCD SU President commented: “Reaching quorum was extremely unlikely. I think that was clear for everyone from the start, including the proposer, with the full knowledge of what the cost would be to the union. I think the end result is quite counter-productive compared to what the intended result behind the petition was.”

The proposer of the motion, Karl Gill stated: “I think the campaign proved a lot that there is a frivolous attitude when it comes to finances in the union, there is a tendency towards Ents and less of a tendency towards educational services.”

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