UCD for Choice has just announced it will support the petition to impeach UCD Students’ Union President Katie Ascough. Hours ago, the Tribune reported that a group of UCD students launched a petition to impeach Ascough. Now, UCD for Choice has stated it ‘will be supporting the students’ due to Ascough’s ‘disregard and violation of the SU mandate.’
The group stated that ‘every individual is entitled to and has the right to their personal beliefs, and we respect Katie Ascough in hers. However, in the preceding weeks her ability to represent a large majority of students has continually proven inadequate and flawed at best. By undermining the pro-choice campaigns and efforts of the SU and this group, she has violated the pro-choice mandate voted on by the student body.’
UCD for Choice said Ascough’s ‘sole decision to redact crucial and potentially lifesaving information from the freshman Winging It handbook has given rise to questions about her concern for the welfare of the student body, and again, violated the mandate.’ They noted ‘the censorship of this information was unsupported by other sabbatical members of the SU, and the source for funding this action has yet to be answered for.’
The group claimed that ‘on numerous occasions, [Ascough] has been seen and heard to derail the joint efforts of the SU and UCD for Choice by attempting to have the group removed from the Freshers Tent, encouragement of pro-choice class reps halted, and previously agreed upon funding of our efforts cut off.’ The group reiterated that the ‘personal beliefs and views of Katie Ascough are not in question, nor is this a personal attack, but her ability to represent the student body and appropriately delegate is the issue at hand.’
UCD for Choice concluded that ‘students must be given fair representation by a Students’ Union President who has their best interests at heart. Censorship along with hindering the SU and us from doing our job is not the way to serve the students of UCD.’
The revelations are the latest in a busy news day regarding UCDSU affairs. A source informed the Tribune earlier that ‘within the SU corridor is a definite lack of trust in Katie after everything she has done and how she went about it.’ The source stated that ‘as regards the Winging It handbook, what I was told is that the illegal content (specifically the Women On Web information) was to be removed and so Barry [Murphy, UCDSU Campaigns & Communications Officer] rewrote the page to remove that content so the legality of the information would not be in question. She refused to accept any rewrite or delegate it and thus removed it completely.’
Finn McLysaght, a second year Politics and Sociology student, started the campaign to impeach Ascough with a number of friends. A full report on the impeachment petition is available here. The Tribune also reported earlier how UCD for Choice, alongside UCDSU Campaigns & Communications Officer Barry Murphy, would be meeting with Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) President Kevin Keane on campus tomorrow.
Cian Carton – Editor