In an interview with the College Tribune the chair of UCD Young Fine Gael has confirmed that they will take a stance against the UCD Students’ Union’s continued affiliation with the Union of Students in Ireland in the referendum to be held later this semester.

Lorcan Nyhan, medical Chair of UCD YFG spoke to the College Tribune, stating, “we don’t feel that we [UCD] should be affiliated, because we think that [USI’s] stance on fees is not representative of the majority of students… The way they undertook the preferendum vote was orchestrated in such a way that it showed a bit of disdain for the opinions of regular students with the timing”.

“We will have a campaign around the time of the vote and we will make sure that students know our views… and we’ll put our point of view to the students and hope they will agree… we’ll be hoping to open up debate on this,” continued Nyhan.

Nyhan stated his belief that the USI have not done a good job representing students and that it was difficult to justify the fee paid to them.

The move follows a motion put forward by UCD YFG at the first annual Garret FitzGerald Summer School held in Killarney this June. The motion called for the Universities Act 1997 to be amended to ensure that membership of a Students’ Union or the USI is no longer mandatory for third-level students.

In the current situation all third-level students automatically become members of their local Students’ Union upon registration. It is then up to the members of each local Union to decide whether or not to be affiliated with the USI.

Rachel Breslin president of UCD Students’ Union has confirmed that a referendum on USI affiliation will be held in the first semester.

– James Grannell