Political societies show rise in membership


ÓGRA Fianna Fáil’s Kevin Barry Cumann (KBC) has signed up over 600 members, making it the largest political society in UCD. Despite the high numbers who signed up.KBC Chair, Conor King felt that, “it was a little quieter this year, Monday was good but Tuesday and Wednesday were a lot quieter than last year certainly”.

Mr King is confident with his “good team” and looks forward to the events of the coming year. This week they will visit the Dáil, and later in the year they plan to visit their fellow Cumanns in Queen’s University, Belfast.

Young Fine Gael showed a significant increase in membership, recruiting 450 members, a rise of almost 100 members. YFG Chair, Karen Doyle believes that Freshers’ Week went “fantastically”, owing praise to their Michael Collins themed stand, which she thought, “stood out a lot more than previous years”.
Ms Doyle credited their combined efforts in a number of activities which made Freshers’ Week a great success, and she expressed enthusiasm for upcoming events, particularly YFG’s visit to Stormont later this year.

The UCD Greens have similar number of members as last year, with 189 students signing up, just two less than last year. UCD Greens Auditor, Megan McKerchar believes that they could beat their membership record of 191, if students continue to join throughout the year.

Ms McKerchar regarded the atmosphere in the Freshers’ tent as, “amazing”, despite receiving criticism from some students, who argued that the Greens, “are a sellout”, however she was confident that most students see why the Greens are active in UCD.

Ms McKerchar hopes to promote their roll on campus by campaigning for specific issues. This year the UCD Greens hope to focus on introducing “better recycling facilities on campus”, and the creation of greater bicycle parking areas.

Ógra Shinn Féin recorded a substantial rise in membership, with a current total of 90 in comparison to last year’s total of 75. Sinn Féin Chair, Michael Reynolds, desribed this as “this was a good increase from last year”. Mr Reynolds noted in particular the steady nature of the week, “There was strong numbers on Wednesday and Thursday, which was different to last year when we only signed up about 5 maybe on Wednesday”.

The introduction of party literature and material from the head office was of great benefit to Ógra Shinn Fein. Mr Reynolds believes, “that worked an awful lot better than last year”.

UCD Socialist Youth has signed up the largest amount of members since it was established in 2002. This year saw 40 students signing up, increasing from last year’s total of 28. UCD Socialist Youth Chair, James McCabe believes the rise in membership is as a result of “the university fees issue” and the Lisbon Campaign.

Mr McCabe explained how people are “becoming disillusioned with the established parties”, and he believes that Socialist Youth offers an alternative outlook for those with different views.