Trinity College Dublin Students Union (TCDSU) is now mandated to support the Rename the Berkeley Library campaign, following the passing of a motion at this evening’s Council.
The motion mandates the TCDSU President to lobby College to change the library’s name and mandates the union to support the “Rename the Berkeley Library “petition. The petition currently has over 300 signatures.
The motion noted that the name is “inappropriate” due to George Berkeley’s “pro-enslavement beliefs and actions”. The motion also noted that the “number of buildings/rooms named after women or people of colour is particularly low”.
The motion was proposed by Class Rep Louie Lyone and seconded by TCDSU President Leah Keogh.
He urged Council to “question who we are honouring on campus” and said that Berkeley should be “recorded, but not rewarded”.
Speaking on the motion, Gender Equality Officer Rebecca Kelly highlighted the need for the change, saying “we need to make this change and we need to do it now and “our campus needs to reflect each student that walks through its campus each day”.
Also speaking on the motion, Ethnic Minorities Officer Gabi Fullam supported the motion and said that we need to “not whitewash the past”.
Keogh spoke next, pledging to raise the issue at Trinity’s Colonial Legacy working group and promising to endeavour to “address issues such as these”. She wants to see this change happen within the term.
The petition in question is calling on Provost Linda Doyle, and Trinity “to rename the Library and Gold medals, and to rededicate the memorial window to a more appropriate candidate” and notes the precedent of the recent renaming of the Schrödinger Lecture Theatre “due to his grooming and abuse of women and children”.