I am nearly sick to death of talking about the impeachment referendum but there a few things that need to be said. First of all, I cannot and am not taking a side in this but I do want to point out something. It could be argued that Katie Ascough has violated the UCDSU Constituion by releasing the legal documents. Article 5.2 states ‘All materials, physical and electronic (including intellectual property), produced by the members of the Union Executive, Campaigns Forum, Entertainments Forum and Union Council and Union employees in the course of their duties shall remain, at all times, the property of the Union.’ If Ascough released those documents when she wasn’t technically President, hasn’t she violated this? The documents were provided to her by the UCDSU lawyer who it could be argued is an employee of the SU and therefore the documents also belong to the union therefore Ascough shouldn’t have been able to release them.
As well as that the well know far-right propaganda machine that is Breitbart has come out in support of Ms Ascough with the headline ‘Student Union President Facing Impeachment for Pro-Life Views’. Never in my life did I think I would see US publications get involved in the insignificant matters of the UCDSU politics but here we are.
Finally, the release of the Executive Council minutes proved to be explosive with three officers expressing no confidence in the president. An underreported matter is that the officers only received the legal advice that Ascough was given at that meeting nearly 3 weeks after she received it. Barry Murphy said in those minutes that ‘We’ve lost face with the first years’ but I think this SU has lost face with nearly everyone. The good work being done by Rob around the Budget and March for Education, Niall with the revamping of Fresh Fest and Barry with the March for Choice is being overshadowed by Ascough and this impeachment referendum. We had to defer Mental Health Week and for what? I for one, cannot wait for this referendum to be over, whatever the outcome so that maybe the SU can get back to representing the welfare of students before another important event has to be deferred.
Rachel O’Neill – Editor