UCCSU scraps five years of policies after passing of ‘wipe the slate’ vote

newsA motion passed at a UCC Students’ Union (UCCSU) council meeting last night has invalidated all motions passed by the union in the last five years. The motion was proposed after union officers claimed that the drafting of a new UCCSU policy document had been prevented by inadequate records of past council meetings.

But UCC LGBT* has tonight claimed that the union’s deputy president and education officer had access to past mandates in a shared folder on Google Drive. The document was created and passed on to the two sabbatical officer by a former deputy president of the union, who confirmed the arrangement this week, James Upton, the society’s auditor, told Trinity News.

In a statement, the society expressed its “extreme concern” over the shelving of five years of class council mandates.

“A vast amount of policy relating to UCC’s historical record of a student body to the fore of equality as a Union, which went on to define the dynamic equality policies of the Union [of] Students in Ireland is now redundant,” it said.

The motion’s passing will mean that the union will no longer have safe space, gender recognition and equality mandates, the statement went on to say. “The ardent work of reps over the last five years has been abolished in one swift brush by UCC Class Council,” it added.

Criticism has also been voiced by UCC Labour, which said that the move “throws away give years of progressive lobbying and campaigning.” In a statement released today, the society said the council “neglected to re-implement core motions and policies that make up the day-to-day running of the Students’ Union” after the motion’s passing and called for “an immediate reversal of this quick-fix, corner-cutting solution.”

Speaking to Trinity News tonight, Mark Staunton, UCCSU president, said sabbatical officers were never given a policy document during their two-week crossover period in June. He said he had asked the union’s education and council officers to produce a document based on past minutes, files and emails, but that there had been insufficient details on the passing of motions in the documents available to them. Last night’s decision, contrary to claims, will not affect the running of the union’s equality working group, as outlined in its constitution, he said. “Best practice” is the union’s priority, he added, and all motions passed this year will be “properly and publicly recorded”.

Dick Murphy, UCCSU’s deputy president, said he would not comment on claims outside of working hours. Joe Kennedy, the union’s education officer, was unavailable to comment at the time of writing.

Catherine Healy

Editor of Trinity News. Interested in politics, history and all forms of media.