UCD student not allowed to disaffiliate from Students’ Union

A UCD student who threatened to disaffiliate from the University’s Students’ Union over the recent abortion referendum has been prevented from doing so by the Union’s constitution.

Samuel O’Connor, head of the pro-life group ‘UCD Students against Abortion’, has been told he cannot leave the SU due to constitutional reasons.

Threats of disaffiliation come after the pro-life group submitted a petition to the SU in early November signed by over 40 students demanding the union reverse their pro-choice position or the students would separate themselves from the SU.

The movement follows a referendum in October regarding the issue of the SU’s position on the abortion debate. As stated in a previous report by The College View, the results of this referendum revealed only eight per cent (out of the 2527 votes) chose a pro-life stance.

In a statement released by UCDSU President, Mícheál Gallagher, about the threats of disaffiliation, it was revealed that after a long discussion, a vote was taken by the SU Executive on the matter and a motion was passed. According to the statement the motion read:

“That Exec write to the student saying that the constitution currently does not allow for students to leave (Article 3.1), so until and unless the constitution is amended (some constitutional amendments are expected alongside SU Executive Elections Spring 2014) it is not possible for resignation to be accepted.”

O’Connor told UCD’s College Tribune that he felt the decision was one of “supreme cowardice and buck-passing”. He added that he was prepared to take the matter further.

“I am not going to let this flagrant disregard for my constitutional rights lie… I am prepared and indeed morally compelled to take this fight to the very highest levels.”

When contacted by The College View, Gallagher said the matter was taken into consideration by the Independent Appeals and Disciplinary Board (IADB) and he did not feel it was “appropriate” to comment on the situation at present time.

Emily Bodkin

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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