A total of 1620 signatures were gathered calling the for the impeachment of University College Dublin Students’ Union (UCDSU) President Katie Ascough, according to Finn McLysaght, one of the approximately 20 students who organised the petition.
This figure is 466 more than the number of votes she was awarded in the UCD sabbatical elections in March. The petition will be submitted to the Returning Officer, Stephen Devine, today and a referendum will be announced shortly.
The petitions were passed around the UCD campus from Tuesday until this morning. The necessary amount of signatures for a petition, which is 3.5% of the student body, was reached on Wednesday. Petitioning continued, however, until this morning
While the petitioning was large scale and structured last week, with locations of petitions posted on Facebook, petitioning this morning was more relaxed. Finn McLysaght told Trinity News that petitioning continued after the necessary amount of signatures was reached as the organisers wanted to give people calling for Ascough’s impeachment the opportunity to be represented.
“Many students on placement for business or nursing have brought petitions to collect signatures” she stated, adding: “One person even printed, signed and posted her signature from her erasmus year”.
After the Returning Officer receives the submission, campaigning for the referendum will begin. The organisers of the petition have stated they will only accept minimal funding for dispersal of information or clarification of misinformation and will not be purchasing posters or t-shirts for their campaign. A campaign calling for Ascough to remain as President is expected to be launched also.
Ascough will be impeached if the majority of votes cast in the referendum favor impeachment and no less than 10% of UCD’s students vote in the referendum.
According to the UCDSU constitution, “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.”
Additional reporting by Sarah Meehan.