Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) will be holding a plebiscite on the Tobacco Free Trinity initiative. The vote, which will be held alongside the election for class representatives, was confirmed by TCDSU President Shane De Rís today.
While the plebiscite will follow normal TCDSU referendum rules, the result will be non-binding as the vote hasn’t been called by Council or a petition. Calls for campaign managers will be released in the next few weeks.
De Rís commented that the plebiscite aimed to “gauge the student body’s view on the Tobacco Free Trinity initiative” and “will inform how we represent the student opinion in our dealings with the initiative”.
De Rís continued: “The Tobacco Free Trinity initiative has proven divisive at our Council meetings and it is clear there are differing views within the College community, we believe this is the best way we can be truly representative of our members.”
The initiative was previously discussed at a previous TCDSU Council. Last year, class representatives voted to remove TCDSU’s mandate on the issue, leaving it with no official stance on the issue. It is also unclear whether this vote will be conducted before the next College Board meeting, which previously considered the expansion of smoke free zones.
Trinity has had two major votes on this issue, with a majority of voters opposing the initiative in 2014. However, this was overturned in 2015, with students voting to support the introduction of the smoke free zones.
Trinity has previously introduced “Smoke Free” zones, with student ambassadors being paid to enforce the non-smoking rules. Trinity currently has three smoke free areas, established in 2016. These are the Sports Centre, College Health Centre, and the entrance to the Arts building.
Additional reporting by Peter Kelly