A referendum was recently held by the Students’ Union in University College Cork on UCCSU’s affiliation with the Union of Students in Ireland.
The results showed that students in UCC wished to remain affiliated with the national representative body.
In an interview with the College Tribune, UCD Students’ Union President elect Rachel Breslin referred to the upcoming referendum on the Union’s position on fees and stated that if the position was to change, a referendum on UCDSU’s affiliation with USI would be held. Currently, USI and UCDSU campaign for free fees.
Ben Horan, current President of UCCSU, told the Tribune that his union “backed a yes campaign”. Students in UCC residences received leaflets and there was a stand on campus informing students about USI.
A 21 year old Pharmacy student in UCC stated that “the SU kept it very quiet what there was to gain/lose from voting either way and most people didn’t even know what the hell it was about”. There were 2561 votes for affiliation as opposed to 1049 against.
With regard to the potential referendum in UCD on this issue, Rachel Breslin noted that while the result of the UCC referendum was interesting “in particular the high percentage”, she didn’t think “the outcome will have any real impact on the outcome of our referendum in UCD”.
She stated to the College Tribune that the Union “will be able to run a sufficiently large information campaign that the vast majority of students will be in a position to base their vote on the facts about USI”.
The upcoming ‘preferendum’ on UCDSU’s policy on fees/access to education will take place alongside the ‘Executive’ elections in week 10.