Capitation Committee to withhold GSU funding

The Capitation Committee plan to withhold funding from the GSU for the upcoming academic year, following concerns over how the GSU Board handled complaints surrounding the union’s chaotic EGM

The Capitation Committee is planning to withhold funding from the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU), according to a report by the committee seen by Trinity News this evening.

The plans to withhold funding are directly in relation to the GSU Board’s investigation into complaints regarding the GSU EGM, which was held on 14 April 2021. 

According to the report seen by Trinity News this evening, funding will be withheld from the union until such a time where complaints have been dealt with “satisfactorily”.

The report, which was circulated by the Senior Dean this evening to the committee, stated: “The report of the investigation indicates a clear link between inadequate engagement in the process from the GSU and the inability of the GSU Board to make any substantive findings or to offer strategic advice to the GSU in relation to the EGM under article 20 (i) (c) of the GSU Constitution”. 

The GSU Board’s investigation was launched after a controversial EGM in April, where members raised major concerns about compliance with the union’s constitution. The fallout of the meeting led to calls for President Gisèle Scanlon and GSU Vice-President Abhisweta Bhattacharjee to be removed from office.

The Board, which is tasked in the union’s constitution with providing oversight and advice, released the final report from the investigation earlier this month. The report was just one page long.

Neither Scanlon or Bhattacharjee responded to the GSU Board’s attempt to contact them during their investigation. 

Following the GSU Board’s investigation, the Senior Dean, who is Chair of the Capitation Committee, deemed that the internal procedures of the GSU have dealt with the complaint “unsatisfactorily”, and under section 4.5 of the Capitation Committee’s Terms of Reference “instructed that the final moiety of the Capitation Allocation for 2020-21 be withheld from the GSU until such time as the GSU can be shown as to have dealt with the complaints in a satisfactory manner”.

 

The report concluded: “This decision of the Senior Dean will be brought before the Capitation Committee to be formally ratified by them at a meeting to be held as soon as possible after the holiday period following the appointment of the new Senior Dean.”

The Capitation Committee is responsible for funding being allocated to Trinity’s five capitated bodies, which include Trinity Publications, the Central Societies Committee (CSC), Dublin University Central Athletic Club (DUCAC), Trinity College Dublin’s Students’ Union (TCDSU) and the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU). 

This will be the first time in recent history that the Capitation Committee will be withholding funding from a capitated body. 

Shannon Connolly

Shannon Connolly is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News, and a Junior Sophister student of English Literature and Philosophy. She previously served as News Editor.