UCDSU Ltd to become effective this week

 
 

Should Union Council approve the memorandum and articles of UCDSU Ltd at Union Council this week, UCDSU Ltd will be set up as effective immediately after council.

According to Students’ Union President Pat de Brún, the change will not be as drastic as many people believed it would be upon hearing of the incorporation. “I want to clarify because I think that people … assume [there will be] change in terms of how our affairs are managed and the entire structure. In reality all it really means is that we will have a Board of Directors responsible for financial oversight and that we’ll have to audit our accounts every year, that’s the only really major impact that becoming a company will have.”

De Brún stated that the Board of Directors’ main role will be to provide financial supervision, “Technically they have to follow the memorandum, articles, and the Constitution, make sure everything is running smoothly. They’re non-executive directors; they don’t have any decision making power. They have a role in financial oversight and to ensure that the finances are being run smoothly and to appoint external auditors and make sure the accounts are done every year.”

The structure of the Board of Directors will closely mirror that of the new Finance Committee, including former presidents, a legal advisor for the Union, and an accounting expert, “it’s similar to the way the Union of Students’ in Ireland (USI) are doing it; they’re setting up companies as well.”

It has not yet been decided who will be taking on the role of accounting expert, although de Brún confirmed that former Union financial advisor, Dave Carmody, would not be filling the position, “As far as I am aware he is [still employed by the University] but when it comes to our Constitution, he has no role in there.”

Under the new structure the recently instated General Manager has taken on most of the duties of Carmody’s role; “We’re still finalising a few things, we’d like a commercial person as well under the General Manager but we’re still ironing that out. We need to see what our resources are like.”

UCDSU Ltd is set up as a company within the current Students’ Union to manage its affairs, “while the company is managing the affairs, the Union still owns them. The Union owns the company and the students own the Union. In the new constitution, we created powers that Union companies could be set up but it’s not the case that everything is becoming a company – you can move certain aspects into a company but it’s still owned by the Union as it is.”

Because of this, all students coming into UCD will not automatically become members of UCDSU Ltd, as it is a body managing the affairs of the Union of which the students are members, “it’ll be still owned by the students on a purely technical level, you need to name a minimum of seven members – we just named the five sabbatical officers and two others, but they don’t have any power and they don’t have any liability.”

The company is one limited by guarantee, not shares, “This is a company that is just mirroring the constitution and the ownership will lie with the membership so it’s not something that can bought or sold, it’s not a commodity.”

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