UCD Students’ Union is supporting a Yes vote in this Friday’s referendum on the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, after being mandated to do so by its Executive.
SU President Gary Redmond told The University Observer that the pro-Lisbon mandate came to fruition after the Union Executive heard a presentation from a member of pro-Lisbon youth lobby group, Generation Yes. The member was invited to speak at the request of SU Executive.
The mandate originally proposed that the SU affiliate with the group, but Redmond “first asked the Union Executive if the SU wanted to take a stance on the Lisbon Treaty referendum, rather than first affiliating with a group.” Following a discussion on this matter, Redmond “further suggested that the SU does not affiliate with any outside group, and that the motioned be amended, to change the term ‘affiliate’ to the term ‘support’.” The amended motion was passed unanimously by SU Executive.
Redmond went on to say “it is not unusual for the SU to take stances on national and international issues.” He added that “in the past, the SU has taken stances regarding abortion, workers’ rights, bin taxes, the Rossport pipeline, the Gaza strip, Kosovo, immigration, arrests of individuals, drugs, etc.”
Outside of term time, the Union Executive acts in lieu of the Union Council in setting day-to-day policy for the Students’ Union and mandating the Union’s officers to act in what it deems the best interests of the student body.
While Council has the power to overturn any decision made by the Union Executive, a Council meeting two weeks ago did not reach quorum, and Council has since been dissolved in advance of this week’s class rep elections.
The Union Executive is comprised of the Union’s five sabbatical officers, ten elected Programme Officers – who represent the interests of students in individual schools – and a number of Executive Officers representing individual briefs such as the Environment and the Irish Language.
The Students’ Union will hold a talk this week on the Lisbon Treaty and its benefits for students, in partnership with the Generation Yes group. Voting in the referendum on ratifying the Lisbon Treaty takes place nationwide this Friday, 2nd October.