Dublin City University (DCU) students have voted in favour of their students’ union remaining affiliated to the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), Ireland’s national representative body for third-level students.
Of those who voted, 88% indicated a preference for Dublin City University Students’ Union (DCUSU) to remain affiliated to the USI.
DCU students also in favour of an adjustment of the union’s constitution, which reconfigures four of the sabbatical officer positions . 86% voted in favour of adopting the new constitution.
1874 students voted in the referendum on USI membership, while 1862 students voted on the new constitution.
Students in DCU had already had the opportunity to vote on the proposals in December of last year, however the results were voided due to insufficient turnout. Each of the three referendums held in December, which also included a referendum on making the college tobacco-free, failed to reach a quorum of 10% of the student population, which currently equates to 1,762 votes.
Speaking to Trinity News, DCU Yes to USI campaign manager Tadgh Jenkins, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that DCU students see the power in the union, and that we ran such an informative campaign which students received really well.”
The approved alteration of the union’s constitution will change the make-up of the DCUSU’s four vice presidents. The new vice presidents will be for academic life, wellbeing, diversity and inclusion, and community and citizenship, with the remit of each position laid out in detail in the new constitution. The change in the constitution will also see the removal of a first year officer from executive and the introduction of a recruitment process for the returning officer.
The old vice president positions were academic affairs, education and placement, welfare and equality, and engagement and development.
In February, the DCUSU executive, which consists of DCU’s five sabbatical officers and the Union’s part-time officers, faced heavy criticism after voting to support disaffiliation from the USI without consulting class representatives.
DCUSU has had a tumultuous history with the USI before now. DCUSU had voted to rejoin the national union in 2013, following over 10 years of disaffiliation. However, that referendum was declared invalid as the union’s executive failed to hold to promote the campaign, which it was constitutionally mandated to do.
DCU students voted on USI membership again the following year, rejoining the USI by a one vote margin. Two years later, another USI membership referendum was held, succeeding by a wider margin.