The Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) Council tonight voted to support the TCDSU campaign for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment.
The motion cited the Memorandum of Understanding agreed between the GSU and Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) in November 2016. That memorandum states that “if representation is to be made on an issue that affects undergraduate and postgraduate students equally, the SU shall take action, representing the student body as a whole, with support from the GSU if appropriate”.
The memorandum applies to both external issues and issues arising in Trinity. GSU Council had previously voted in favour of a pro-Repeal mandate two years ago. GSU mandates expire after two years, but Council accepted the GSU position as being in support of Repeal as per the memorandum.
Speaking in favour of the motion at Council, GSU President Shane Collins said what was at issue was not the GSU’s position on Repeal, but whether “it’s appropriate for us to be proactive in this area”.
The motion mandates the GSU to support the SU campaign for Repeal “via presence at marches in favour of a Repeal position, circulating information to students, as well as officers dedicating time to the campaign and resources”.
A referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment is due to be held early this summer. The government took the decision at a special cabinet meeting on Monday evening. The date of the referendum is yet to be determined. The Union of Students in Ireland have called on the government to schedule the referendum for no later than the end of May so as to facilitate student participation.
Additional reporting by Peter Kelly.