In the past week, two UCD International students have disaffiliated from the Students’ Union.
Both parties claim harassment of students was occurring during the UCDSU elections, which is not properly dealt with. Wishing to remain anonymous, both students spoke to the College Tribune about why they made the decision to disaffiliate.
The first student stated although their general experience in UCD had been “amazing” he had to “put up with some pathetic behaviour by canvassers of some candidates who were willing to go to any extent to win, even if it involved crossing the lines of decency”. This student also claims that the Students’ Union “chose to turn a blind eye to the complaints made by a lot of students”.
He also added that he felt “betrayed” by the SU “I feel betrayed by the Students Union which claims to represent and support students in difficult times, but despite my repeated complaints, they completely deserted me when I needed them the most and offered no moral support whatsoever.”
In a statement to the College Tribune the second student stated that she does not feel that the Students’ Union represents International Students. “I feel that the Students Union does not represent International Students like me. Even during the elections when a lot of people were being harassed they did nothing in terms of supporting the aggrieved students or taking any stance.”
In their statements both students make reference to the UCD International Office, praising all the work they do, with the second student stating “The UCD International Office and societies like the International Student Societies do a great deal of work to make UCD feel like home for the 6,000 odd international students”.
These disaffiliations come in the wake of the first UCD Students’ Union disaffiliation last year. Once a student disaffiliates they are removed from all membership and electoral forms of UCDSU for the current year. A new form has to be completed by the student each academic year if they wish to remain disaffiliated.
UCDSU President Feargal Hynes was unavailable for comment at the time of print.