At an emergency session of the SU council on Monday evening last, UCDSU passed a motion calling for a referendum on Union of Students in Ireland (USI) reaffiliation.
The motion notes that, in the event of reaffiliation, each full-time student would have to pay an additional €5 charge per annum, and each part-time student would have to pay an additional €2.50 per annum. The motion will be put to students alongside the UCDSU executive elections, which will take place online from the 30th to the 31st of March, and in-person from the 4th to the 5th of April, using the MSL system.
A separate motion has also passed, which calls for a referendum to approve various amendments to the union’s constitution. These amendments include the creation of new part-time representative positions for a variety of causes, such as gender equality, sustainability and anti-racism, as well as the renaming of the Graduate Officer Sabbatical position to Postgraduate Officer, with the Entertainments Officer becoming the Entertainments and Community Officer.
This referendum will also be held in tandem with the Union Executive elections.
UCDSU has previously disaffiliated from the USI twice, the first such occasion being in November 1997, when the motion in favour of disaffiliation was carried by less than 10 votes. This result was overturned by a 1999 vote, in which UCDSU decided to reaffiliate with the USI.
In the wake of a financial mismanagement scandal at UCDSU, and subsequent financial difficulties, the Union voted to disaffiliate from the USI in February 2013. 2726 votes were cast, with 1687 being in favour of disaffiliation, and 1039 being in favour of continued membership.
UCD students last had the question of USI membership put to them in 2016, when an overwhelming 76% of students voted in favour of continued disaffiliation.