The group behind the impeachment petition for UCDSU President Katie Ascough will have to collect signatures again following a formatting issue with the petition. The petition called for an impeachment referendum to be called for Ms. Ascough following the “Winging It” reprint controversy. The petition was signed by 1,620 students in less than a week but was deemed to be invalid and was rejected by the Returning Officer. The petition repeated on the grounds that it did not follow the guidelines set out in Article 6.5 of the Student’s Union Constitution.
The article states that “In the case of a referendum by petition, each petitioner must sign the referendum petition underneath, at the end of, or on a sheet attached to, an exact copy of the wording of the proposed referendum and provide their name, programme, stage and student number.’
Image above: The petition signed by students which has no columns for signatures.
As shown in the image above, there is no column on the petition for signatures which means that the petition is invalid and therefore an impeachment referendum cannot be called at this time. A member of the union which wishes to remain anonymous told the Tribune that they sent an email to the Returning Officer to highlight the issue. In the email, the union member said ” While I have not seen the petition first-hand, I understand that the form is identical to that available on the campaign group’s Facebook page. If this is the case, then under Article 6.5 of the UCDSU Constitution, the petition is invalid. As you can see, there is no room for signature on the form which has been distributed and as such, the petition in its current format is invalid.”
In a statement on Facebook the Impeach SU President group said “The UCDSU Returning Officer has not accepted our petition due to a constitutional technicality. We will need to gather signatures again with a slightly altered petition. If you have already added to the petition you will have to sign again!” It’s expected that the group will start collecting signatures again from tomorrow.
Rachel O’Neill – Editor