In the past few days, former UCD Students' Union (UCDSU) President, Míchéal Gallagher, and Ciara McConnell, a final year Politics and International Relations student launched a 'Rejoin USI' movement.
UCDSU originally disaffiliated from the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) in 2013 after a referendum was put to the student body. Gallagher and McConnell launched the campaign this week, proposing a referendum to re-affiliate with USI and seeking volunteers for the campaign, with a campaign video. Gallagher, a final year Social Science student, states in the video that the UCD Student Union is in a much stronger position than it was two years ago and believes it to be the right time to rejoin USI due to “two national issues” – the Marriage Equality referendum and the Student Contribution Charge.
However, students have raised concerns over the validity of their reasons to rejoin. Questions were asked about the influence that either UCDSU or USI could have over the Student Contribution Charge as it was passed by Government and will be enforced in September. A concern with the Marriage Equality referendum is that the vote will be taking place in May and regardless of the result, it will no longer be an issue of concern for USI.
The University Observer will have more on this story in the coming days.