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Neutral Facts on USI Membership Referendum

Neutral Facts on USI Membership Referendum

(As mandates by MSU Student Senate)

Errors and ommissions accepted

What is USI?
The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) is the national representative body for students in third-level education on the Island of Ireland.  It is a democratically led organisation which represents and campaigns for the rights of students. It acts on behalf of member Unions, and it represents member organisations within the Higher Education Authority (HEA)

Does MSU pay an annual Membership fee to USI?
Yes, each year MSU pays an annual membership fee to USI of €5 per full time student and €2.50 per part time student.

For the year 2016/17 the fee was based on 8,896 fulltime students and 1,603 part time students giving a total fee of €48,487.50.  This comes out of the Student Levey students pay each year.

What involvement does MSU have with USI?
Each year MSU sends a delegation of students, led by the President, to the Annual Congress of USI where the USI policy for the following year is debated and decided.

The USI officers for the following academic year are also elected at Congress with the MSU delegation voting in accordance with the mandate from MSU Student Senate. 

As well as attending the Annual Congress, MSU also attends regular meetings of USI’s National Council , where the USI officers report to the member Unions on their work.

What does the MSU Constitution say about USI?
Under Article 17 - Policy, the MSU Constitution it states that:

The Union may affiliate to, or disaffiliate from, national organisations whose aims and objectives are not repugnant to those of the Union .”

This allows students to have more of a say in their Union’s affairs.

Why is a referendum being held?
A quorate
mandates the Union to a particular policy for a period of three years, it is now time to put the USI affiliation question back to the students.

When is the referendum taking place?
On Wednesday 8th March 2017 all students of will be able to vote on MSU’s membership of USI.

What will a YES vote mean?
If students vote for MSU to remain a member of USI, no change is needed to the MSU Constitution and MSU officers will continue to attend National Council meetings and Annual Congress.

What will a NO vote mean?
If students vote for MSU to discontinue membership of USI, MSU officers will no longer attend National Council Meetings or Annual Congress.

Is there an alternative National Union to USI?
There is no alternative National Union.

How would a no vote impact on an individual student in terms of their tuition fee.
There would be no change to the tuition fee.

If students vote for MSU to leave USI, when will this come into effect?
If the students vote to leave, this will come into effect on the 1st July 2018.

How long does the decision last for?
Under Article 17 - Policy, the MSU Constitution it states that:

A quorate referendum shall mandate the Union to a particular policy for a period of three years, unless revoked or renewed by a subsequent referendum on the same topic referring to the first referendum.”

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