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After hiring strippers to preform for them in their SU bar, Maynooth Student’s Union have said that they cannot comment on the matter because they are in the middle of an SU election. Nonsense hackery really. We’re happy to re-blog a post from Karl Gill’s blog Red Head, where he talked about the nature of student politics in Ireland last year. If you like this, you should go check more of his stuff. 

Ireland’s largest student union, University College Dublin Students’ Union, is facing a referendum on affiliation to the Union of Students in Ireland. The call for disaffiliation is becoming extremely popular and increasingly hard to challenge. The old mantra of ‘united we stand divided we fall’ seems to fall on deaf ears as people do not see or believe in the USI tagline “together we’re stonger”. This has led a number of people to discuss the very nature of student politics, apathy and engagement. This post is an attempt to stimulate debate about the nature of Irish student politics.


 

Every single student in this country is a member of a student union. Unlike a Trade Union, students do not choose this membership, the majority of students are not consciously Read the rest of this entry »

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– Aisling Gallagher writes about her recent experience of having her delegate status revoked at USI Congress because she voted for two pro-choice motions. Aisling is Women’s Officer for NUS-USI and a student at Queen’s University Belfast. This post originally appeared on Aisling’s personal blog here

Last week I went to Ballinasloe for USI Congress 2013 as part of the QUBSU delegation. We were all student councillors, elected at the start of the year. We weren’t elected separately as delegates for the Congress (there is never as much interest within QUBSU about attending USI in comparison to attending NUS-USI), but rather expressed our interest and as councillors were all allowed to attend. This is the first important thing to remember. We weren’t elected. Our mandate came from our election as councillors, months ago, in October.

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Róisín Jackman of Queen’s University Belfast writes about the controversy surrounding the removal of QUB Students’ Union delegate Aisling Gallagher, The NUS-USI Womens’ Officer,  from her delegation for claims that she voted against her Union’s mandate on abortion services twice. Róisín raises  questions about the legitimacy of these mandates and questions the democratic structures of the student movement. Business as usual some would say. Read the Trinity News story here.

Contentiously at this year’s Union of Students in Ireland (USI) Congress, a delegate from Queen’s University Belfast Students’ Union was stripped of her delegacy rights and barred from participation at Congress.  This was the result of her voting in favour of two motions which the Executive Management Committee (EMC) argued equated to her breaking QUBSU mandate. She initially received a warning having voted in favour of a pro-choice motion and was stripped of her delegacy after voting in favour of a motion instructing the USI Welfare Officer to lobby against agencies giving out misinformation to individuals who may seek abortions. Read the rest of this entry »

In his debut for the blog Frank Doherty writes about the recent student union elections in NUI Galway and how these compare to how things were done in the past

Students’ Union full-time officer elections took place on Thursday, 7th March. At the same time, a referendum of the SU’s position on women’s reproductive rights and the on-going national struggle to provide access to abortion for all women was balloted. Read the rest of this entry »

The USI's idea of effective protest.

The USI’s idea of effective protest.

– Sarah McCarthy writes about her experiences of engaging with her students’ union and the Union of Students of Ireland (USI).

We’ve had two articles here on the ISLO concerning UCD’s Disaffiliation from the USI. While I have a number of more theoretical and comparative points I’d like to contribute to this debate, the last article makes me think it would be useful to explore what engaging with our SU’s and the USI actually looks like. I’ve had a relatively high level of engagement with the NUIG students’ union during the near three years I’ve been at University. I’ve been in Free Education for Everyone (FEE) since I began, was a class rep for two years, and ran for the position of Welfare Officer last year. This article essentially outlines the highlights of the experiences I’ve had during that time, in order to illustrate that we lefties don’t moan about our SU’s and the USI for no good reason.

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– Alán Camilo Cienfuegos weighs in on the USI Disaffiliation debate, arguing that left-wing students should remain committed to working with and within the USI.

The decision of University College Dublin to disaffiliate from the national Union of Students in Ireland is utterly foolish. In a time when the efficacy of the various organisations of working people and the disaffected in Irish society are being blunted by the ever-useful government tactic of divide-and-conquer (public vs. private sector, etc.), to have one of the largest universities in the country break with their student’s national union and essentially go it alone is nothing but a victory for those whose interests lie in seeing unions in general broken up and emaciated, namely the government and wealthy they serve. That the campaign in favour of disaffiliation was spearheaded by the likes of Young Fine Gael, the lapdogs of their parents in government, should be evidence enough of the motivations for such a move, but to see leftists standing in the same camp as such vermin is, to say the least, surprising.

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– Aidan Rowe discusses UCD’s Disaffiliation from the Union of Students of Ireland, its implications for the student movement, and whether there actually is a student movement in Ireland . 

It is something of a paradox that leftists – those progressives who fight for a radical restructuring of society – often end up adopting antiquarian positions that, viewed from the outside, appear bizarre and irrelevant to present-day struggles. This has certainly been true of left-wing students’ positions on the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) for some time. We understand more keenly than most the historical importance of trade unions, which leads to the adoption, often without much debate, of a moralistic pro-USI position based in an abstract pro-unionism: one which loses sight of why leftists engage(d) with unions in the first place. We feel morally obligated to beat our heads against that particular brick wall regardless of the outcome, and then wonder aloud why more students don’t wish to join us in this particular form of Sisyphean masochism.

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Here we go. The difficult second blog post. Mightn’t be as groundbreaking or as good as the earlier stuff but sure we’ll get through it. 

While the Daily Edge often gets a bit of ridicule from the Journal.ie comment warriors for not having serious stories, I always find it’s a good way to get a laugh and to help get rid of the Monday morning blues. I didn’t think I’d find it however in the main news section when I came across a column by Fiachra Ó’Raghallaigh on youth politics in Ireland. If you haven’t read it already, go check it out. Read the rest of this entry »

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