Pictured above: Katie Ascough during hustings debate
A group of UCD students have launched a petition calling for the impeachment of UCDSU President Katie Ascough.
Amy Crean, one member of the group spoke to the University Observer and said: “The group is myself and Finn McLysaght and an informal group of mostly unaffiliated UCD students who are just concerned with Katie Ascough’s actions as a president.”
The group believe that Ascough’s actions in removing abortion information (see here) from the handbooks are the actions of “a president who has acted undemocratically, wasted student union money, and denied information about accessing basic healthcare.”
Details on calling for a President to be impeached are outlined in section 6.3 of the UCDSU constitution. To call for an impeachment, a petition has to be signed by 3.5% of the union membership. Crean explains the group are “looking for for just over a thousand signatures to support the petition to impeach [Katie Ascough].”
So far, Crean says the group has been preparing to launch their petition for the impeachment of the President, and the group has taken responsibility for some of the posters that have appeared around campus showing removed abortion information. “We mostly focused on the posters and leaflets initially and we now have the petition ready to go online and we will also be physically campaigning with the petitions from tomorrow morning on campus. We’ve reached out to people who are in the SU for support and we’ve talked to different students on campus but mostly we are initially focused on spreading the information, looking into the process of impeachment, preparing the petition and we wanted some time for the information to spread about Ascough’s actions before looking for people to sign.”
When asked about whether this petition will look as if the group is targeting Ascough because she holds pro-life views, Crean responded: “The issue isn’t that she holds any particular view, it’s that she’s letting it affect her position as a president. She is mandated to support a union that actively voted to be pro-choice. She is saying she won’t go to the pro-choice march because it’s out of hours. She denied extra funding to UCD for Choice and didn’t want to be in the tent with them and she denied vital information on basic healthcare access to the entire student populous. If she had kept her views to herself and not let it affect her position as the president of the union it wouldn’t be an issue. So it’s not about her personal stance. It’s that she’s letting it affect her job negatively and that’s impacting students’ welfare.”
The group have a Facebook page called “Impeach the UCDSU President” where a link to the petition may be found. The petition is available online to print for circulation around the UCD campus in the coming days.