The UCC Students’ Union has re-affiliated with the national union, the USI, after this week’s referendum passed by an overwhelming majority of voting students.
The USI responded to questions raised over transparency by publishing accounts over the weekend, while their on-campus presence was met with no visible opposition; paying off with a 91.4% ‘Yes’ vote (2,468 of the 2,699 valid votes).
The poll was down almost 1,000 on the last referendum three years ago, when it was coupled with SU elections, however the quorum of 1,796 was comfortably met. This year’s result was also a much greater endorsement of the national union than that of 2012, when the ‘Yes’ vote amounted to 70.8%.
USI President and UCC graduate Laura Harmon said that the verdict on the USI referendum showed that the work that the USI does has full student backing:
“This result vindicates the work that a growing and strengthening student movement is doing. It shows that students back USI’s campaigns and clearly demonstrates to policy makers and the political parties that, when USI speaks, we speak with the force, the power and the support of Ireland’s students.
“The great thing about referendums is the voice of the students being heard. Students know education, we know what’s working and what’s failing. We’re informed, we’re engaged and we’re ready for the general election as a united movement working without fear or favour in the interests of our members, their families and this country’s future.”
Martin Lynch, USI’s VP for the Southern Area and campaign manager for the USI affiliation referendum, added his thanks to the campaigners:
“I want to thank the campaign teams on both sides. We’re a stonger organisation today because of the efforts and passion each side showed to get the best deal for students. When students point out something we could do better, we seek to do better – we’ve shown that commitment. Our job now is to unite the students of Ireland to win in the referendums and the General Election ahead.”
A second referendum about the UCCSU’s support of the upcoming Marriage Equality referendum was passed as expected, again unopposed and with more than 9 in every 10 votes in favour of the motion.
A huge 95.4% (2,501 votes of the 2,621 valid votes) voted ‘Yes’ in what was a higher level of support than previous surveys initially forecast, when between 87% and 93% were predicted to be in favour.
Total valid poll: 2,699
Yes: 2,468 (91.4%)
No: 231 (8.6%)
Total valid poll: 2,621
Yes: 2,501 (95.4%)
No: 120 (4.6%)
Quorum for both referenda was 1,796 (10% of total registered students from the previous academic year)
Image by: Conor McCabe Photography