Unfilled positions and delayed accounts at DUCAC AGM

DUCAC held its AGM virtually on Zoom this evening

David John Neill and Roger West have been re-elected to their respective Dublin University Central Athletic Committee (DUCAC) roles at the organisation’s virtual AGM this evening. 

Neill ran unopposed for the position of Vice Chairman of the DUCAC Executive Committee, while Roger West was the sole candidate in the race for Chairman of the Pavilion Members Committee. 

However, there was no formal presentation of accounts by either the Senior Honorary Treasurer John Bolton, or the Chairman of the Pavilion Bar Committee Cyril Smith. 

In total, four members were elected to roles on the Executive Committee, with Eimear Fahy of DU Ladies Boat Club and postgraduate student Shubhangi Karmaker of DU Rifle Club were elected as club representatives.

Six Club Representative positions remained vacant after tonight’s AGM, as does the position of secretary. 

As per the rules set out in the DUCAC Constitution, chair Jemil Saidi declared that a DUCAC member would be co-opted to the vacant positions on the Executive Committee.

Saidi will stay on as chair, which is a three-year position, after being elected to the role last ear.

Saidi opened the meeting, which took place over Zoom, by reading the minutes from last year’s AGM before inviting Smith to give the Pavilion Bar Annual Report. 

Smith revealed that the audited accounts for the Pavilion Bar had not been prepared in time for tonight’s meeting and therefore could not be presented at the meeting. 

However, he presented the net turnover figures for the bar between 1 June 2019 and 12 March 2020, which indicated a turnover of approximately €700,000, up €34,000 from the same period in 2018/19. 

Smith also mentioned that the period between April and June usually accounted for 36% of their yearly turnover, but the pandemic had wiped out any hopes of a similar situation for the same period this year. 

The Pavilion Bar was forced to close along with all bars and restaurants nationwide during the first lockdown. 

“At the moment it is not possible to open the Pavilion Bar until such a time that we return to Level 2,” Smith said. 

He noted that the Bar Committee “looked at possibility of reopening to serve food”, but decided reopening would not be “self-sustaining”, given that, according to Smith, food sales only account for 20% of their turnover.

When asked by West whether the Pavilion Bar would be able to break-even for the year 2019/20, Smith confirmed that the bar “owes no money to suppliers”. 

He said that they “owed money to [the Revenue Commissioners],” but confirmed that there was “money set aside for that,” so they were in a position to “pay if asked”. 

Smith added that the Pavilion Bar still had financial resources at their disposal but “at a low level”. 

He concluded by saying that the audited accounts would be presented at a subsequent EGM. A date is yet to be determined for this meeting.

Bolton was next to deliver his report, but said that the full audited accounts were not ready for presentation at the AGM. 

He also told the gathered members that the accounts would be presented at a later EGM. Bolton did present a summary of DUCAC expenditure for 2019/20, indicating a retained income of €20,580. 

Later in the evening, Bolton announced that DUCAC received €316,000 from capitations and club subscriptions this year, down €54,000 from the previous year. 

When quizzed by West about whether the organisation had received the full capitation amount to shore up the Pavilion Bar’s shortcomings this year, Bolton answered: “From the management accounts, the committee were slightly in surplus, because while income was down, so were expenses.” 

Head of Trinity Sport Michelle Tanner was unable to deliver the Annual Report, but gave a brief summary of the achievements of Trinity Sport this year, including the successful hosting of football’s Collingwood Cup, during which Dublin University Association Football Club (DUAFC) won the Farquhar Cup. 

Tanner also revealed that the Sports Centre’s swimming pool had been repaired and will be ready for use once the government’s public health guidelines allow for it to be reopened. Tanner paid particular tribute to DUCAC for “putting pressure on the University” to ensure the repairs could take place. 

Earlier this month, essential maintenance works were performed on the facility after it was closed during the summer due to safety concerns. 

Tanner also announced that the Trinity Sports Scholarships would be awarded to 35 student athletes at a virtual ceremony on 12 November. She revealed that there was a “recruitment freeze” at Trinity Sport, with many core staff and casual support staff made redundant due to the pandemic. 

She praised the launch of the Trinity Sport app, which is designed to allow students to book time in the Sports Centre’s facilities. Karmaker asked Tanner if the app would accommodate students with disabilities in booking spaces in the Sports Centre. Tanner took the opportunity to announce that Trinity Sport were in the process of recruiting a new Sport and Disability Officer, and that inclusivity would be a “big part of their new Strategy for Sport.”

In the “Any Other Business” portion of the meeting, member Joseph McDonnell asked if there was any update on the Printing House Square development.

 The on-campus accommodation complex, set to house 250 students over a health and sports centre, was expected to be completed this summer in time for the new academic year, but delays caused by the pandemic meant that its completion would be postponed indefinitely. 

Tanner confirmed that the delays were due to disruptions caused by the pandemic as well as unspecified “legal issues” and said that College “should make a statement on [Printing House Square] soon”.

DUCAC is one of Trinity’s five capitated bodies, alongside Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) and the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU), Trinity Publications and the Central Societies Committee (CSC).

Cameron Hill

Cameron Hill was the Sports Editor of Trinity News for Michaelmas 2018. He is a Senior Fresh English Literature and French student.