Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) is now mandated to campaign against the use of single-use plastics and student poverty. Motions on these issues were passed this evening at the first TCDSU Council of the year. Both votes passed by a significant majority.
The motion on campaigning against the use of single-use plastics was proposed by Susanna Garside, SS European Studies class representative, and Simon Benson, TCDSU’s Environmental Officer. The goal of the campaign is to eliminate single-use plastics on Trinity’s campus, targeting plastic cups and cutlery. The motion also noted the work done so far in Trinity to improve sustainability since the launch of the Sustainable Development Policy in 2008.
The campaign against the use of single-use plastics held its first official meeting earlier this month and, according to the members, is the next step as a Green Flag campus.
The campaign is currently trying to get the Pavilion Bar to use “eco cups” over disposable cups. A member of the group, Caitríona de Búrca, told Trinity News: “The aim of removing plastic cups and cutlery is a big ask, but we don’t think it’s an unreasonable one.”
A motion on student poverty was also passed this evening. The motion was carried over from 2016/2017, and was proposed by TCDSU Welfare Officer Damien McClean and seconded by Stacy Wrenn, JS Jewish and Islamic Civilisations class representative.
TCDSU is now mandated to look into practical measures to ease the burden of poverty and impacts poverty has in regard to dropout rates and food poverty. TCDSU will also lobby the government to factor in student interests during the writing of the budget.
Maia Mathieu, who initiated the campaign, told Trinity News: “Higher education is such a privilege and Trinity itself is such a place of privilege that it’s vital that we enshrine our commitment to economic justice in a mandate to TCDSU. That mandate follows on from the efforts of the Students Against Fees campaign, but it goes further than that.”
Additional reporting by Lauren Boland, Ciaran Sunderland, Rory O’Neill, Michael Foley and Niamh Lynch.