Officers and staff of USI gave a presentation to UCDSU Union Council after recent discussion rejoining USI. Clare Austick, USI President spoke to council about the function of the Union of Students Ireland and its ongoing national campaigns.

Austick was joined by Ben Archibald, USI General Manager, and Caoimhe O’Carroll the USI Vice President for Dublin upon the invitation of Darryl Horan, Campaigns Officer for UCDSU. “At our discussion on USI membership last council, several members of raised the real issue that after a decade outside USI, UCD students had little knowledge of the day to day operations. AS such, I requested from Niall [Torris, Chair of UCDSU Union Council], a presentation from USI.”

“This is the free-rider problem” said USI General Manager Ben Archibald on UCDSU staying outside of the national union, arguing that UCD students are benefitting from USI’s work despite not being a member union. Asked by a class representative why UCDSU should rejoin the national body, O’Carroll responded that UCDSU would benefit from the national representation which USI offers, saying they could offer additional “weight behind [the] voice” of the UCD students.

Speaking to The College Tribune about the cost of rejoining USI after Union Council, USI President Clare Austick said:

“First of all, to break it down, it’s €5 per year for a full-time student, €2.50 for a part-time student. It depends on the arrangements that the Students’ Union has with the college, whether it’s the college who pays it, or whether [it’s students who pay].

If UCDSU makes some kind of arrangement with the college in terms of how they fund it, or if it’s an additional levy […] I fully believe in the value and the strength of the national voice.

Today was about providing awareness information on the work that [USI does] and how we’re structured. A lot of people wouldn’t even know the positions that we have or that we’re made up of 11 members. So [we wanted to explain] how we actually operate as a national organization.”

Hugh Dooley – News Editor