UCD DanceSoc last night breached UCD Students Union referendum rules by supporting a Yes vote in this weeks student levy referendum. The referendum is to determine if UCD will extend the current student levy for up to 20 years to pay for a €70 million student centre extension.
The email sent by DanceSoc late last night calls on members ‘as a dance, as a sports person, and on behalf of Dance Soc I would ask you to Vote Yes in this referendum’.
Sionnain Greene the auditor of DanceSoc said ‘the section regarding the referendum was not authorised by the UCD Dance Auditor, nor was the committee member aware that it was a breach’.
The rules around referendums say that while individuals who are members of societies can take stances, societies as organisations cannot. Sports Clubs are also bound by the same rules, with club captains and auditors being warned mid-March ‘in order to protect the integrity of the referendum you are reminded that you can not express this view whether favourable or not on any UCD Club named platform’.
Returning Officer Micheal Foley has said that ‘this was deemed a breach of the rules and as a result there was a penalty imposed on the Yes campaign’.
Max Murphy of the Vote Yes – Always Moving Forward UCD campaing said ‘Dance soc sent an email to all of its members in error as their society is set to benefit hugely from the performing arts extension. The matter has been discussed between myself and the returning office.’
Sadhbh Mac Lochlainn of the UCD says No to Student Levy Extension said to the Tribune ‘No society or club can endorse a side, as well as this it is strictly forbidden to use their sisweb mass mailing list to do so. Vote No has demanded firstly an apology from Dancesoc and secondly, they retract their endorsement. This was a purposeful attempt by yes supporters to break campaign rules’.
Voting in the referendum takes place alongside SU Elections and a constitutional referendum on the 1st and 2nd of April.
By Aaron Bowman – CoEditor
Updated at 13:14 with comment from Sadhbh Mac Lochlainn of the Vote No campaign.