US(I) or them?: NUI Maynooth to vote on joining U.S.I

This Wednesday, along with the Union elections, NUIM students will be voting on whether to join the ranks of the Union of Students in Ireland (U.S.I.). The referendum, if passed, will bring the University back into the Union, which it had been in for only nine months nearly ten years ago.

This vote has caused quite a stir among the students who are politically minded with a strong Yes campaign emerging last week.. While those saying No have shown nothing except loud voices and complaints about the €5 levy to every student, can we expect a proper campaign from them in the last few remaining days of canvassing?

But are the majority of students bothered about USI? A poll on has the question posted and while the Yes side has a vast majority, those that aren’t concerned are larger than those saying no. While the Yes vote seems a clear pass, will the Irish condition of not voting for what we don’t fully understand *cough* Lisbon *cough* unstick the momentum of the energetic Yes Campaigners? If so, will there be a rerun because it’s students voted incorrectly? I doubt it.

Unlike Fianna Fail, The Students Union would have little appetite for a rerun in it’s present condition and even if a majority Labour Youth influenced exec get elected on Wednesday would they take the plunge of an all out Yes to USI from the Union? So far the only Presidential candidate to have a vocal support for USI has been Gavin Brady. Are the others sitting on the fence for political reasons and the fear of splitting their potential vote. Say what you will about Gavin and his campaign but the guy has stones!

While many students couldn’t care about who represents them and organizes Charity Week (RAG), the vote on USI is extremely important. While I will discuss the arguments for Yes and No in future blogs, I urge all students to look into what the advantages of a national union of students would entail for them and our University on the national stage. The Observer certainly feels that a national union with NUIM is certainly better for both USI and NUIM. Let us not be divided by the cost of a pint.

To see poll and its ongoing debate see:


Originally posted 20/2/10 at


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