Since our last issue and at the time of writing, Barry Murphy and Rebecca Hart have declared themselves as candidates in the Presidential By Election. As well as that we have FOCC UCDSU petitioning to make membership of the SU optional.
Firstly, there’s no getting away from the fact that the SU has suffered horrific reputational damage this year between the impeachment of Katie Ascough, the reprint and everything in between. Students are sick to death of being asked to vote on things, particularly when they’ll have to go to the polls in March again to vote in a new SU. Perhaps a one horse race for the election mightn’t have been a bad idea. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the democratic process but I also believe that students if not apathetic about our SU already are about to become more apathetic.
Secondly, the petition to make SU membership optional at the time of writing has yet to be handed it. FOCC’s goal of having the referendum on the same day as the Presidential By Election has not come to pass meaning the argument about wasting more SU money can most certainly be made. What isn’t being made clear in my view is that you can already disaffiliate from the SU by writing a letter to the President.
Disaffiliation means you can still access SU services but you’re still going to have to pay the fee. The SU isn’t bulk funded by that charge on your fees. In fact, all of that money goes to a committee who decides how much each society gets as well as the SU.
Finally, when asked when the petition was going to be handed in FOCC replied ‘Members of the campaign – once they have recovered from the shock of the announcement two days ago – will convene and discuss if indeed our work here is done. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Mr Murphy will become the greatest friend of the FOCC UCD SU Campaign.’
This is going to be a long, long campaign.
Rachel O’Neill – Editor