The Students’ Union Council has mandated Union President Cónán Ó Broin to “take the necessary steps to withdraw” the Union from the Forum for University Students’ Unions (FUSU).
The motion was put forward at the November Council meeting following a review made by the Executive into the benefits gained from membership of the Forum. The motion was then carried by unanimous support.
Union President Ó Broin criticised FUSU, claiming the Union was “not an effective organization; having meetings with no agenda and no leader”. The Council then sanctioned Ó Broin to formally notify the Presidents of all other Students’ Unions that Trinity’s Union would be withdrawing from FUSU with “immediate effect”. The Union will be following in the footsteps of the UCD Union which terminated its membership of FUSU on October 27th. FUSU was set up in 1997 as a platform for communication between the five recently USI-disaffiliated university unions in Ireland, enabling communication between USI-affiliated and non-affiliated students’ unions. Non-members of the USI included the University of Limerick, NUI Maynooth and Dublin City University.
According to TCDSU Council documents, it had been noted, “with regret”, that “the three university students’ unions not affiliated to USI contributed very little to the campaign against fees; failed to coordinate any of their work with USI, even after agreement”.
Criticism against FUSU has mounted in recent months as the divide between USI member unions and non-USI member unions has been deepened by the recent ‘fight against fees’.
The TCDSU Council was of the view that the “co-operation between USI affiliated colleges was the key to the major victory over the proposed re-introduction of full Third Level Tuition Fees”.
It was decided that the Union would be “better represented through the formal structures of USI than the ad-hoc meetings of the Forum of University Students’ Unions (FUSU)”