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New USI president outlines priorities for term

Former union official Annie Hoey to focus on campaign to repeal the 8th amendment

Annie Hoey photographed at a 'Rock the Register' drive at DIT earlier this year. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times
The new head of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) is planning to focus on issues including the repeal of the 8th Amendment, reducing the registration fee and fighting the introduction of income-contingent loan schemes during her term as president.
 
Annie Hoey (27), who previously served as deputy president of the union, said she was “very excited” at the prospect of taking up the role.
 
“I want to hit the ground running and expect to have a very busy year ahead, focusing on repealing the eight; LGBT rights; reducing the registration fee of €3,000; fighting any proposals for loan schemes; finding solutions to the student accommodation crisis; and increasing student support,” Ms Hoey said.
 
Ms Hoey served as USI deputy president for the 2015/2016 term and as USI vice president for Equality and Citizenship for the 2014/2015 and the 2015/2016 terms. 
 
“I have worked on major national campaigns during my time at USI, such as the marriage referendum campaign, where we registered over 40,000 students to vote, and the #MakeGraTheLaw hash tag reached international audiences and media, had a ripple effect of positivity in the LGBT community, and, ultimately, was a contributor to the outcome of the referendum.
 
“I also organised Pink Training, the biggest LGBT training event in Europe, for the past two years, and hope to transfer the skills from these experience to my role as President of the Union of Students in Ireland,” she said.
 
The second female president in recent years, Ms Hoey follows Kevin Donohue and Laura Harmon in the role.