Queen’s University Belfast Students’ Union (QUBSU) is to introduce a Transgender Students’ Officer and an Officer for the Irish Language as part-time officers following a vote at QUBSU’s Council last night.
Speaking to Trinity News, QUBSU Equality and Diversity officer for QUBSU Hamsavani Rajeswaren stated: “What happened tonight at QUBSU’s student council was historic. We have two new part-time officer roles that have been created that will improve the engagement and representation that these minority groups face in society.”
Last night’s council also saw the passing of the motions for QUBSU to support marriage equality in Northern Ireland, the introduction of legislation which does not exclude trans people, and a call on the Government to act.
Several Irish speaking students of QUB came to the Council to speak in favour of the successful motion to introduce an Irish Language Officer. An amendment to alter the motion to create a Minority Language Officer rather than an Irish Officer was put forward, but was voted against.
Rajeswaren said in her statement in support of an Irish Language Officer that their Irish language speakers and the supporters of an Irish Language Act are “an amazing community of students and activists who are seriously underrepresented on council, and in the wider university”.
The translation work of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Oifigeach na Gaeilge came under discussion at SU Council last week when Communications and Marketing Officer Paraic McLean raised the idea of removing the Irish language translation of the union’s weekly email, stating that it was rarely read and that the costs involved warranted its removal.
Oifigeach na Gaeilge, Cúnla Morris spoke of the importance of the translation and pointed out that “Trinity is known for being a Protestant and English college and it is important to respect Irish and maintain it as an Irish university”. Student support for the translation service was noted by McLean, who decided against eliminating the translation.