Team behind the “Save Trinity Ents” petition drops campaign as sabbatical officers election nominations open

The team behind the petition has chosen to not bring it forward at the next TCDSU council meeting

The team behind the “Save Trinity Ents” petition created last year has decided not to bring the issue forward at the next Trinity College Dublin’s Students’ Union(TCDSU) Council meeting. 

A spokesperson for the team told Trinity News that they feel it would be “unfair to talk about the petition so close to elections”.

The petition originally looked to replace the Entertainment (Ents) Officer with a dedicated committee to run events instead. 

The Ents Officer is elected by members of the student body during TCDSU elections. The position is paid full-time and the officer receives accommodation on campus.

The nominations for the next TCDSU sabbatical officers, including the Ents Officer, opened on February 1. Nominations close on Monday February 15.

Recently, several of the Save Trinity Ents petition’s supporters have distanced themselves from the campaign. 

Speaking to Trinity News, previous supporter of the petition and current Ents Treasurer Anthony Gleeson said that he has “not taken any further action” since Michaelmas term.

Gleeson went on to say that he is “looking forward to seeing the Ents Committee becoming an official part of the Ents constitution once the process has started in the coming months” and he hopes that the sabbatical officers “would be kind to include a select number of the Ents Committee members during the constitutional review process”.

“I believe the input from the committee members will prove to be vital in the shaping of ents for years to come.”

Speaking to Trinity News in September last year, Gleeson highlighted the “mediocre levels of engagement when it came to Ents events” as a major reason for his support of the petition. He emphasized that this low level of engagement would be “continuous” and that “every Ents Officer will face this problem”.

“They’re just going to look at it like ‘there’s no real solution’,” he claimed. “This is the solution.” 

The Save Trinity Ents petition was launched in September 2020 and sought to “remove the Ents Officer from the Constitution in June 2021”.The position would be replaced with four part-time paid Heads of Ents; Head of Operations, Head of Planning, Head of Community and Head of Marketing and Communications.

As a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, no on-campus campaigning will be allowed in this year’s sabbatical elections. Voting will take place online. 

Once elected, the new sabbatical officers will take up their positions in June. 

Kate Henshaw

Kate Henshaw is current Deptuty Editor of Trinity News, and a Senior Sophister Sociology and Social Policy student. She previously served as News Editor and Assistant News Editor.