UCD Students’ Union President, Rachel Breslin, brought a motion to Council to hold the referendum on the same date as the sabbatical elections citing cost as the reason for this consideration. The minimum cost for holding a stand-alone referendum campaign is €5,000 but Breslin estimates that this referendum will cost roughly €8,000.
Council declined this motion and it is now expected that the referendum will be held at the beginning of semester 2. At the beginning of the college term Breslin hoped that the referendum would be held in November, however circumstances have changed, “we’ve committed to the national campaign [Gilmore 250 campaign] to such an extent that I think that it would take away from that so much that it would have huge harm on the national campaign and that is a bigger objective right now,” Breslin explained.
The motion was brought to Council so that the class representatives could discuss the option of holding it in conjunction with the SU sabbatical elections according to Breslin. The outcome of the vote was that it could be held “in the second week of the second semester because of all the national campaigning that is going on and to give it its own stand alone referendum.”
Affiliation with the USI costs UCDSU in excess of €100,000 per annum and this affiliation will be brought under scrutiny by UCD students when the referendum is held. As of yet it is unclear who will be running the respective yes and no campaigns.
By Peter Hamilton