The Students' Union is affiliated to the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). USI does at a national level what the Students' Union does at university level and was founded on the principle that students together are more powerful than students apart and today represents 250,000 students throughout Ireland.
USI campaigns for the right of all students to education and for student's rights within the education system. USI lobbies politicians and government departments as well as forging links with interest groups, youth groups, trade unions and individuals who will support student causes. USI organises and demonstrates on a national, regional and local basis.
Irish students' interests are represented by USI at national and international level. USI is the only organisation recognised by the Government to represent students on national bodies. USI Officers are the sole student representatives on the boards of several Irish educational bodies such as the Higher Education Authority, Higher Education and Training Awards Council and National Qualifications Authority. USI has also recently re-established links with the National Union of Students in Europe to represent students at a European level.
USI provides training for everyone involved in students' union structures at the start of the year and throughout the year. USI offers resources to unions by producing materials such as briefings and campaign packs for local use. USI publicises student issues and enhances the profile of students' unions on radio, television and through the printed media. USI campaigns run throughout the year on issues such as fees, cutbacks, mental health awareness, access to education and maintenance grants.
The USI Officer board 2013/14 is made up as follows:
Joe O'Connor, President
Cat O'Driscoll, VP Academic Affairs & Quality Assurance
Paddy Guiney, VP Campaigns Officer
Denise Mc Carthy, VP Welfare
Laura Harmon, VP Equality & Citizenship
Kevin Donoghue, VP BMW Region
Ciara Guinan, VP Southern Region
Feidhlim Seoige, VP Gaeilge