UCD students will face a referendum next Tuesday and Wednesday on whether or not their college should re-affiliate with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).
A group of students led by the national Labour Youth chair, Grace Williams, created a petition and collected names from well over the 3.5 per cent of the student body needed in order for the referendum to go ahead.
“The reason that we have called this referendum is to make sure we will have an impact after the general election”, Williams said.
Students will be asked to answer the following question: “Shall UCDSU affiliate to the Union of Students in Ireland, subject to an increase in the Student Centre Levy of €5 per full-time student and €2.50 per part-time student?”.
Students in UCD voted to leave the USI in 2013 after it was disclosed that the union was in €1.4 million debt due to poor accounting practices. The students who favoured the disaffiliation from the USI thought that UCD Students’ Union should start to focus more on local issues.
The results of the last referendum saw students voting to leave the USI by a margin of 64.5 per cent.
In January 2015 former UCDSU President Míchéal Gallagher launched a “Rejoin USI” campaign and USI President Kevin Donoghue told UCD’s student newspaper that they would “very much welcome any move from students to re-affiliate”.
DCU’s Student’s Union voted to re-affiliate themselves with the USI three years ago at the same time UCD voted in favour of disaffiliating themselves.