A new “Freedom of Choice” campaign, aiming to make membership of University College Dublin Students’ Union (UCDSU) optional, was launched today. The campaign, called “Stand up”, aims to insert a Constitutional amendment into Article three of the University College Dublin Students’ Union (UCDSU) constitution.
The proposed amendment would make membership of the union optional; no student would be registered as a member of the union without first obtaining written consent. It would also allow students to terminate their membership of the Union by written notice to the president.
Speaking to Trinity News, the campaign organisers stated that, “all registered students are forced to be a member of the Students’ Union without any consent. This means that money is being spent on behalf of students who have no choice over how it is being spent – or in many cases, wasted.”
In a press release, the campaign organisers said that the campaign has been prompted by the “the recent failings of the Union to represent all students fairly,” and seeks to encourage “students to stand up for their rights which are not being vindicated by the Union”.
They hope the referendum will take place alongside the Presidential by-election on November 22nd and 23rd. Stating in the press release that this will “allow for substantial discussion on the issue while also taking into consideration the economic efficiency of running referenda together”.
Campaigning for the necessary amount of signatures will begin across the Belfield Campus today. The petition will then be given to the Union Returning officer, Stephen Devine.
The launch of the campaign follows the impeachment of UCDSU president Katie Ascough. Ascough was impeached over her removal of illegal Abortion information from the UCDSU “Winging it” handbook.