Council postpones discussion of student media access motion

The motion proposed to mandate the Students’ Union to provide equal opportunities and access to on-campus media outlets

NEWSA motion mandating the Student’s Union to provide equal access to Trinity student media to its events and reporting opportunities, including but not limited to livestreaming opportunities, event access, and the provision of documents has been postponed at the final meeting of SU council this evening.

Deputy Engineering Mathematics and Science convenor Jason Leonard, who proposed the motion, cited a Trinity News article detailing the University Times’s editorial independence as inspiration for the motion. Paraic McLean, school convenor seconded the motion.

The motion read, “TCDSU council recognised that The University Times is editorially independent since 2010, a policy which was renewed in 2013. Following a constitutional referendum in April 2014, this is the second academic year in which The University Times has constitutionally guaranteed editorial independence.” The motion noted that “The University Times is not considered a Students’ Union communication channel.”

TCDSU President Lynn Ruane objected to the wording of the motion, arguing that it implied intentional exclusion or malice on the part of the SU. Arguments were also made that the wording of the motion was vague and therefore open to misinterpretation and abuse. Questions arose as to whether the motion would mandate the University Times to share its media equipment with other on campus media outlets.

Education officer Molly Kenny, stating that not enough consultation had been done with the relevant parties, put forward a procedural motion to postpone the vote on this issue. The motion will be broached again at the first council of the 2016/2017 academic year.

Eva Short

Eva is a former Deputy Editor of Trinity News.