Double referendum could bring significant changes to DCU

DCU Students’ Union looks set to hold a double referendum early next semester, as the expected referendum on reaffiliation with the Union of Students’ in Ireland was put back at the last Class Rep Council meeting.

The USI referendum was expected to be held in semester one, but the item was withdrawn from the agenda by Class Rep Council Chairperson, Ronán Ó’Dálaigh at the November 27th meeting.

The second referendum, SU President Aaron Clogher explained, will be held in a bid to secure finance for the new on-campus Student Centre, which is currently in its planning stages. The referendum will ask students whether they wish to reduce but extend the current €38 the SU receives from each student’s contribution fee.

The payment period for the amount collected is soon to expire. “If we want to build a new student centre we need a commitment from the student body to keep paying this levy for 20 or 25 years, whatever it takes to pay off”, said Clogher, who has proposed a new levy amount of €35 to the university.

The SU have passed initial ideas for the centre over to the university, and plans are expected to be sent to architects “as soon as we get a referendum through”. Graphic plans for the new centre are expected to be available for students to inspect before casting their vote.

The proposed location for the new centre is between the hallway in The Hub and the deliveries entrance to Spar. As a sports enthusiast, Clogher would like to see a physical connection established between the student centre and sports centre. “To me, it would make ultimate sense to actually join the new student centre to the existing sports centre.”

DCU President Brian MacCraith also revealed his eagerness for more facilities to be made available to students on campus at the CRC meeting.

The USI referendum will be a re-run of last year’s null and void vote. The SU President feels his team are better-equipped to run an efficient and comprehensive information campaign during the lead-up this time around. “We know what needs to be done and hopefully by doing that we’ll be able to engage with a larger group of students”, he added.

A semester two campaign has also already been planned “with the sole purpose of increasing the number of people running…in the SU elections”, Clogher revealed.

For more about last years null & void USI affiliation referendum, check out this timeline by Editor Aoife Mullen.

Sarah Bermingham

Image Credit: Viktorija Drozdova

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