USI Disaffiliation Referendum
What is USI?
The Union of Students in Ireland is the only national representative body for students in Irish colleges. It was founded in 1959 and now represents over 250,000 students in third level education across the island. Its membership is made up of affiliated students’ unions around Ireland, North and South. Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union is an affiliated member.
TCDSU’s crrent affiliation dates back to the 2001/02 academic year, when Trinity students voted to pay an annual levy of €8 towards the cost of affiliation and participation in USI. €5 of this €8 goes directly to USI, while the remaining €3 covers the costs to Trinity College of collecting this fee, and the costs to TCDSU of participating in USI events and campaigns.
As it stands, USI represents the interests of its member organisations on a braod range of national and international committees including the Higher Education Authority, the Irish Universties Quality Board, and the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland.
USI’s Officer Board consists of 7 full-time and 1 part-time officer(s). All of these officers are democratically elected by member unions and most of these officers are elected at the organisation’s National Congress, where all member unions are represented proportionally. National Congress also votes on policy positions for the union to adopt.
Why are we having a referendum?
On 20th March 2012, Trinity’s Students’ Union Council passed a motion which called for a referendum with the wording ."Do you want TCDSU to disaffiliate from USI?"
What happens if we vote YES?
A ‘Yes’ vote will lead to immediate disaffiliation of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union from USI. We will not participate in USI decision=making processes or USI campaigns, with the exception of USI Pink Training which does allow for external members to participate. Any other official involvement in USI campaigns will require the approval of Trinity’s SU Council which is made up of the class reps and officers of TCDSU.
A ‘Yes’ vote will also mean that students will no longer pay the €8 levy from the 2013/14 academic year onwards.
What happens if we vote NO?
A ‘No’ vote will lead to no change at all. TCDSU will continue to be affiliated to USI, will attend USI events, campaigns, and policy-formation meetings.
A ‘No’ vote wil also mean that Trinity students will still pay an €8 levy at the beginning of the academic year to cover the costs of USI membership.
When can I vote?
Polling will take place on 2nd - 4th October on campus and in Trinity’s sattelite institutions. During this process, many students will also be able to vote for their class representative.
In order to vote on this referendum, or in your class rep election, you will be required to bring your Trinity Student ID to the polling station.