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Students at Dublin City University have voted to rejoin the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) after an absence of 13 years from the national union. After two days of voting online and at designated polling stations: Total Votes: 1451 Total Yes: 726 Total No: 725. This is possibly the tightest result ever.

The result of the referendum will see close to 11,500 members of DCU Students’ Union engage with the national union in campaigns relating to graduate jobs, third level funding, marriage equality and mental health awareness, amongst numerous other campaigns. DCUSU will now have a voice in national student affairs, the HEA (Higher Education Authority), the QQI & SUSI grants organisation and access to quality training. In joining, DCUSU will become USI’s 5th largest member.

A lot of students have put their faith in USI – and we will now make it our job to prove our value to the many who voted not to join us.

This positive result for USI follows the reaffiliation this year of Cork Institute of Technology, and an affirmative ballot at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology.

Joe O’Connor, President of USI, said:

“This evening’s result reflects the recognition by DCU students of the enormous challenges facing us on a national level, and the need for national representation and campaigns in order to tackle these issues.

The national student movement stands strengthened by DCU’s return, however, these challenges remain immense.

We will now work together to make the case for education as a public good, to achieve marriage equality, and to bring about better pay and conditions for our graduate nurses. These are issues of key concern to students in DCU and right across the country.

Higher Education in Ireland is facing the biggest crossroads since the introduction of free fees almost two decades ago. We are proud that DCU students have decided to join us in this battle for free education”.

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