TCDSU referendum on amendments to the constitution to be held tomorrow

The proposal is designed to “clean up” the document as well as introduce a number of procedural reforms

Trinity College Dublin’s Students’ Union (TCDSU) is to hold a referendum tomorrow on “cleaning up” its constitution.

The motion to make adjustments to the TCDSU constitution was proposed last April, and students are set to vote on accepting or rejecting a raft of 76 amendments to the union constitution tomorrow.

While the “cleaning up” of the constitution refers to fixing “typos, contradictions and errors”, some other changes to the constitution are proposed under the referendum. 

These includes adjustments to the role of Officer for Students with Disabilities, that will mean any student holding this position must be a student that identifies as having a disability. Previously, any member of the union could hold that position.

Motions of impeachment will take place under a secret ballot under the proposed changes, while all motions proposed at council are currently done by a non-secret ballot by default. 

Adjustments will also be made to the role of the Oversight Commission (OC), with all members being allowed to speak at council as opposed to just the secretary.

Under the proposed amendments, the Union Forum’s (UF) vote in council would be removed. UF is generally not a decision-making body except for its annual approval of the University Times (UT) budget. 

Members of the UF will only have to meet with TCDSU officers “as needed”, as opposed to the current requirement that they meet weekly.

Other proposed reforms include procedural changes to the role of Chair of Council, increased capacity on the OC, and stipulating that no person shall be nominated to more than one position on the same committee.

Voting for this referendum will take place online, similar to the class reps elections several weeks ago. Covid-19 social distancing requirements mean most students are being taught entirely online. 

A spreadsheet of all proposed changes was circulated to students last night by Communication Officer Philly Holmes. 

Voting opens tomorrow morning at 9am, with an email with the voting link being sent to registered voters via email.

This article was amended at 5:20 pm on November 10 to correct mistaken reference to Council in place of Union Forum. 

Shannon Connolly

Shannon Connolly is the Editor-in-Chief of the 69th volume Trinity News, and a Senior Sophister student of English Literature and Philosophy. She previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.