College funding for the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) remains suspended, more than seven months after that decision was initially taken.
The office of the senior dean confirmed to Trinity News that the organisation has not received funding since late July 2021. The senior dean chairs the Capitation Committee, which oversees the funding of the GSU and Trinity’s other four capitated bodies.
The outgoing senior dean made the decision to suspend the funding after the GSU Executive failed to engage with an internal union investigation into its members’ conduct. The union’s president and vice-president claimed that they in fact had engaged with the investigation, which was conducted by the GSU Board, but did not produce evidence to substantiate this claim, despite being asked to by the board and by Trinity News.
The new, incoming senior dean later reaffirmed the decision to withhold funding in early August, and it was subsequently confirmed by the Capitation Committee.
Later, in September, the executive announced that it retroactively considered the board’s term of office to have expired in early July, a time when the board was investigating the executive.
It unilaterally replaced the board with an “interim board” it selected, something the executive is not empowered to do in any version of the organisation’s constitution. The board called this “transparent attempt to undermine the report completed by the board within its term of office”.
Additionally, both the president and vice-president of the GSU have been subject to impeachment proceedings for 10 months, but have not scheduled a vote on their own impeachment during this time. The president claimed in June 2021 that the votes could not be held until the board investigation—which she did not comply with—concluded, but the board confirmed that this was false.
Trinity News has repeatedly asked the executive in the intervening eight months why impeachment votes were never held, but has at no point received a reply. Impeachment votes must be held at a general meeting of the union. The GSU’s AGM was held on December 9, after being delayed for a week and a half due to administrative issues. The union’s constitution states that its AGM must be held before the end of the first week in November.
The GSU president and vice-president did not respond to a request for comment.