A motion of “one club, one vote” was dismissed at the end of the Dublin University Central Athletic Club (DUCAC) AGM on Thursday night. The motion, put forward by DU Archery Club captain Diego Coyle, called for an amendment to the DUCAC Constitution regarding voting procedures at future meetings. Coyle raised the issue at the end of the AGM before it was swiftly adjourned by DUCAC Chairman, Donagh McDonagh.
Coyle’s proposed motion calls for a change to the DUCAC Constitution. According to Article 8: “Sports Club Members of DUCAC and Pavilion Members who are members of a DUCAC affiliated Sport Club, who are present, are entitled to vote at General Meetings,” as well as, “Each Member of the Executive Committee, other than an ex officio member.” Coyle called for voting rights to be restricted to the captain of each member club.
Coyle explained that it seemed unfair to curb the influence of captains, who are elected to represent the club at the AGM, when larger clubs are able to send more members to DUCAC to vote in elections. “In my view, DUCAC is there to progress all sports and should treat all clubs with equal respect,” Coyle said, “How can there be equal treatment, if the large clubs could bring in all their members? ”
Speaking to Trinity News, Coyle believes the motion is necessary if small clubs are to have a say in the affairs of DUCAC: “Throughout the night, I heard most of the people running saying that they want transparency and equal treatment for all clubs, whether large or small. However, this wasn’t apparent to me during the AGM.”
“If a committee that has the power to influence the future of the clubs is select by clubs, it should not be allowed to be swayed by the amount of individuals a club can bring, but the representatives of the club, who will vote for people running that are trying to provide an equal standing for all sports,” Coyle said. He further highlighted that “there are approximately 50 sport clubs in Trinity College” and that only a “a small portion of these are large clubs.”
“If the rest are willing to gather behind this idea, it would mean that together we could have an equal standing,” said Coyle.
The motion followed a contentious evening of elections with the incumbent DUCAC Vice-Chair Róisín Harbison losing out to challenger Jemil Seidi of Dublin University Harriers and Athletics Club (DUHAC). Ian Beatty-Orr of Dublin University Kayaking Club (DUKC) also ran.
Another incumbent, DUCAC treasurer Brian Ó Ruairc, failed to secure a second three-year term, losing out to John Bolton, a former member of DU Boat Club (DUBC). Ó Ruairc was not present at the election and PJ McGrane, former secretary of Trinity GAA and a member of the Pavilion Committee, spoke on his behalf.
The position of DUCAC secretary was uncontested. Molly Flynn, a member of Dublin University Ladies Boat Club (DULBC), was elected after Sean Cassidy, President of the DU Equestrian Club, dropped out of the race.
DUCAC President, Donogh McDonagh was not available for comment.
DUCAC receives the most funding of any capitated body in Trinity and is one of five capitated bodies funded by the Capitations Committee, including Central Societies Committee (CSC), Trinity Publications, Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) and the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU).
Trinity News previously reported on electoral collusion at DUCAC’s 2016 AGM. Freshman club members were allegedly pressured into attending the meeting in hopes of electing candidates favoured by DUBC, DULBC, DU Ladies’ Hockey Club (DUHLC), and Trinity Women’s Rugby Club.
Additional reporting by Victoria Mitchell and Aaron Reen.