Two petitions launched in Dublin College University (DCU) have gained enough signatures to be considered for referenda to be put to students. The petitions needed to gather signatures from 2.5% (approximately 500) of students in DCU which were collected in three and half days according to Trinity News.
One petition was calling for DCUSU to be take on a neutral stance on abortion while the other is seeking to make membership of DCUSU optional. Similar petitions have been launched in UCD with the referendum for UCDSU to have a neutral stance on repealing the 8th Amendment being defeated last year by a margin of 64% to 36%.
Similar to UCDSU’s constitution a referendum in DCU can be called if 2.5% of the union body sign a petition, which should then be submitted to the union’s president or the chair of class representative council. DCUSU are currently mandated to support the repeal of the 8th Amendment but one argument that the group who ran the petition make is that this stance was voted on before DCU merged with Patrick’s College, Mater Dei and the Church of Ireland College of Education (CICE).
As there is only two and half weeks left of term in DCU, it’s expected that referenda will be called but will not take place until early next year when students resume classes.
A petition for UCDSU membership to remain optional was launched a number of weeks ago but little has been heard about it since. A spokesperson for the group said that “The College Tribune would be furnished with a press release when the petition had been accepted”.
Rachel O’Neill – Editor