A motion to reinstate the Off-Campus Officer position on Union Forum was passed this evening at Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Council.
The motion was proposed by TCDSU Citizenship Officer and Education Officer-elect Niamh McCay, and seconded by Tídgh Maguire, a JF Medicine class rep.
According to the proposal, an Off-Campus Officer is needed to “fully engage off-campus students, and hear their voices”.
Speaking to Trinity News, McCay stated: “I think reintroducing [the] Off-Campus Officer is a step in the right direction for the Students’ Union and the help we provide to our off-campus students.”
McCay outlined her intent to reform the role and introduce a committee in order to “ensure greater coverage of off-campus students”. She explained to Council that the Off-Campus Officer would “extend upon the role of Health Sciences Convenor”, and that she had “ideas in place as to what we can do tangibly next year”.
The new Off-Campus Officer will be required to create an ad-hoc, off-campus committee which will be composed of Union members whose degrees are based, in part or in full, off-campus.
“It’s an exciting initiative and I think it can perform better if reintroduced now because we know what went wrong last time,” McCay said.
Supporting the motion at Council, TCDSU President, Shane De Rís, described the position as an “extra voice” for students, which would help to assuage the “feeling of disconnect” off-campus students experience. A Medicine student and a Nursing student also spoke in favour of the motion.
TCDSU previously had an Off-Campus Officer, but it was recognised at Council that they were limited in their capabilities by virtue of the fact that the off-campus student experience differs greatly depending on the student’s course.
An emergency motion to support climate change action was also passed this evening at TCDSU Council.
The motion was proposed at Council by Junior Sophister Chemistry class rep, Aodhán Donnelly, in light of an upcoming protest on Friday, where primary and secondary school students are expected to go on strike from school. Trinity students plan to gather in Front Square on Friday morning before joining the schoolchildren in St. Stephen’s Green to support the strike.
The motion mandates: “TCDSU supports the climate strike movement this Friday and into the future by attending the protests and that the Union contacts all schools to request amnesties for students to attend Climate Strike Days without being penalised for their absence.”
Natural Sciences school convenor, Izzy Jorgensen, supported the motion, outlining her belief that “we should absolutely be supporting” the secondary school students and that spectators would “know clearly that we are not a secondary school but that we are there to support”.
De Rís proposed that rather than marching with secondary school students, the motion be amended to support the march by organising a guard of honour to show support, rather than co-opting the protest. Donnelly rejected the suggestion to alter the motion, with De Rís later voting for the motion.
Council took place this evening in the Edmund Burke lecture theatre in the Arts Building.