Enough Signatures Reached for Impeachment of UCDSU President Katie Ascough
By Aoife Hardesty | Sep 28 2017Pictured above: Signature Collecting for Impeachment Referendum The group collecting signatures for Katie Ascough’s impeachment have announced that they have reached enough signatures to call for an impeachment referendum and yet are still collecting more signatures. They posted an announcement on their facebook page here.The UCDSU constitution states in section 6.9 that “other than resignation, death, or incapacity in accordance with this Constitution, an Impeachment Referendum shall be the only means for the vacation of office of any member of the Executive.” The “Executive” refers to the sabbatical officers, the college officers, and the Irish language officer.The signatures of “no less than 3.5%” of the members of UCD’s Students’ Union must be gained in order for such a referendum to be called. It is the job of the Returning Officer to calculate the membership of the union. The wording at the top of every sheet of signatures must be the same and online petitions do not count.According to a statement issued by the group behind the impeachment petition, they "surpassed the number of signatures necessary to instigate an Impeachment Referendum by the end of the first day of physical collection [of signatures]."If a referendum does take place for the impeachment of Ascough at least 10% of students must vote and the majority must be in favour of the motion for impeachment to occur.The Welfare Officer Eoghan Mac Domhnaill recently posted a status on his personal facebook account urging people not to support the call for her impeachment. He stated “As angry as I was, and still am, that that information was taken out I'm not going to sit idle while people circle around my friend and my president.”He stated that “Katie, in my eyes has, bar this incident been an absolutely phenomenal president.” “I’ll not be signing any impeachment documentation and should a referendum be called I’ll be standing by Katie all the way.”This status came after Ascough faced heavy criticism for removing abortion information from handbooks, attempting to reduce the budget for repeal, and expressing displeasure over sharing the SU stand in the Freshers' tent with UCD for Choice.Some also claim that in removing the abortion information from the handbooks Ascough is defying a 1993 mandate voted on by the union to provide information on abortion.Speaking to the University Observer, Campaigns and Communications Officer Barry Murphy said that as the Union is democratic, he would respect the wishes of UCD students: "We are a democratic union, we are nothing without our students. I respect that students are entitled to their opinion. This impeachment is an act of democracy."Jack Heron, an ordinary committee member of UCD for Choice has said the following: “We at UCD for Choice are encouraged to see the widespread support for the impeachment of Katie Ascough and the protection of the pro-choice mandate. We look forward to a clean and respectful referendum campaign and hope to build on this groundswell of support in the coming weeks.”The group needed to acquire 835 signatures to call for an impeachment referendum. The signatures will be submitted to the SU Returning Officer Stephen Devine.