Referendum on USI in doubt

A proposed referendum on re-affiliating DCU with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) may no longer take place this semester after the student who originally drafted a petition calling for a referendum on the issue deferred their studies.

Under the Students’ Union constitution this means the petition would be rejected if submitted as the original drafter is no longer a DCU student.

The petition, which was signed by students on the first day of last semester, asked students: “Do you want DCU SU to affiliate to the Union of Students Ireland?” The petition was not handed into the SU after it was signed so a referendum was not called. Under the SU constitution a referendum would have been called within 2-4 weeks once the President of the SU or the Chair of the Class Rep Council (CRC) received it.

The Chair of the CRC, Rob Ó Conchúir said “there’s currently no movement on the USI front as far as CRC is concerned”. He added, “while it may not be feasible to have another referendum this semester, it would seem likely that the issue will continue to be discussed throughout the year”.

DCU was a member of the USI until 2002 when students voted in a referendum to disaffiliate from the organisation. A referendum to be re-affiliated was held in DCU in 2010 and was defeated by 432 votes.

A referendum on affiliation with the USI was held in Trinity in October. Trinity students voted to stay a member of the organisation by a margin of 667 votes.

Aisling Kett

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