The Freedom of Choice Coalition UCD (FOCC) have released a statement expressing their “bewilderment” at the decision made by Campaigns and Communications Officer Barry Murphy to run for UCDSU President in the upcoming by-election.
In a press release and on their Facebook page, the FOCC say Murphy’s decision to run for president is “a demonstration of the Union’s continuing loose-handed and flagrant attitude towards our money. Money that is supposed to be employed for the benefit of ALL students and not to compensate for the promotion ambitions of a high ranking Union member.”
It is the SU finances that appear to most concern the FOCC. If Murphy is elected president and a by-election is called for Campaigns and Communications officer the FOCC says “A second by-election will undoubtedly be accompanied by all the unnecessary expenditure and bureaucratic blundering that has become the trademark of the SU over the past number of years.”
Following the increased spending on the Winging It in UCD handbooks, a referendum, and ahead of the upcoming presidential by-election, the FOCC note the possibility of increased expenditure on elections occurs “at a time when dissatisfaction with Student Union spending is so prevalent.”
If Murphy is elected president and a by-election does not occur, the FOCC point out that “the position of Campaigns & Communications Officer will be left vacant, despite the student mandate for it to be filled and the will of the students that Mr Murphy fulfil those duties until June 2018.”
In a statement made earlier this week, Murphy said he is running for president “for the betterment of our union… I’m not running for power or for control but instead to do what’s best for the union and our students.”
The FOCC are currently collecting signatures for a petition to trigger a referendum regarding optional membership of UCDSU, and close their statement with the following: “As the SU wanders further into self-parody, the FOCC UCD SU Campaign is encouraging students to stand up and campaign to make membership of the Union a choice, not an assumption.”