UCD votes to disaffiliate from USI while NUIM remains

University College Dublin students have decided to split from the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) with a 63% majority from 2700 votes.

The university now has one year to notify USI of its intentions to disaffiliate.

USI President John Logue hopes that the grace period will give USI a chance to win back the trust of UCD students. “USI has an opportunity to prove the value and worth of the organisation and win back the wholehearted support of the university’s students.”

Gabhán Ó Briain, Irish Language Officer of UCD SU said: “The election was run on a very short basis with many of the YES team only coming to the forefront on the first day of polling, NO were a lot more organised and were out in force, leading to them getting more people over the line.

“I feel that the election was far too personal with many people taking to social media to insult each other’s views of USI. USI and UCD SU have a very different relationship as USI has with with likes of CIT SU; we pay a huge sum of money each year but don’t get as many benefits as the rest.”

Grainne Murphy, third year Medicine student from UCD, thinks the campaign prior to the vote wasn’t well conducted: “I think a lot of people were confused about which way to vote, seeing as even our Students’ Union officers were divided by it.”

Third year Genevieve O’Mahony felt the USI didn’t do a great deal with UCD SU. “John Logue represented USI very badly, especially after getting arrested in the Dáil. All respect was lost for him after that stunt.”

She also quashed rumours that students had to pay €5 to vote. “If they did, no one would have voted!”

The college is currently facing some financial difficulties and students were frustrated with the USI for not addressing issues of costs.

The NO Campaign says UCD SU has been “wasting money on ineffective organisation” and without the USI much needed reforms can take place.

“The USI has failed to address their own costs in order to pass savings on to us,” claimed NO campaign spokesperson, John McGahon.

Former UCD Welfare Officer 2009/2010 and USI Welfare Officer 2011/2012, Scott Ahearn thinks UCD made a mistake leaving the union as this will put pressure on SU officers: “USI provides them assistance. If you vote NO to USI, you are voting to weaken your Welfare Officer.”

In DCU 786 of 1428 students voted in favour of re-joining the USI, after almost a decade of being out of the union.

With a total valid poll of 1892 votes, 1639 or 87% of NUIM Maynooth students voted YES to affiliation.

Zofia Domaracka

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