Students’ Union Returning Officer Morgan Shelley today confirmed that an SU General Meeting would be held next Monday, at 7pm, in the Astra Hall. The motion to be put to the Union concerns “whether to overturn the decision made by the Union to close the Print Bureau”, says Shelley, continuing, “I understand [the last time such a general meeting took place] was in 1988 … There certainly hasn’t been one in UCD in my time, which is since 2001.”
In order for the motion to pass, a quorum of five per cent of the UCD’s student body must vote for the meeting to be valid. Shelley explains, “Five per cent of the members of the Union have to vote at the meeting. Hopefully, I’ll be able to ascertain on Monday the exact number that that is. So, it’s not the attendance of the meeting, it’s the number of people who vote. So you could have a situation where a quorum of people attend the meeting, but not enough of them vote.”
While a total cost of the Meeting is yet to be confirmed, eight stewards and four security guards will need to be hired, as well the cost incurred from a minimum of 1,200 ballot papers being printed. UCD SU Campaigns and Communications Officer Brendan Lacey commented “I think we have tried to clear up with the student body the facts, as opposed to misinformation, surrounding this issue. We will continue to do so at the UGM, my only hope is that it doesn’t prove to be too large a further cost to the Union.”
Regarding the cost, the motion’s proposer, Karl Gill, stated “I just discussed it with the returning officer – he was saying it could easily be three thousand euro, considering for staff and ballot papers and stuff like that … I know that is a big cost, in particular with the climate of the Union, but in the grand scheme of things it isn’t actually that big of a deal considering that we’re saving the only educational service provided by the Union.”
Should the vote pass, the Union decision to close the Copy Bureau will be overturned, subject only to a referendum. A campus-wide referendum may be called to supercede a decision made at a Union General Meeting.
Security measures will be in place to ensure that only UCD students can participate in the Meeting, with Lacey stating, “Student cards will be checked on the way into the venue, it’s important to uphold the democratic nature of a UGM by ensuring only UCD students are in attendance.”
Photograph by Caoimhe McDonnell.