GSU deny telling Board to resign

In a statement to Trinity News this evening, the GSU said that the president did not order the resignation of the Board

Trinity College Dublin’s Graduate Students’ Union (TCDGSU) did not order the resignation of the Board, according to a statement received this evening. 

In a statement to Trinity News earlier this evening, member of the GSU Board Dr John Walsh claimed that the board “received an email from the GSU President last night claiming that [their] term of office had concluded and thanked members for their service”. 

However, speaking to Trinity News this evening, the GSU stated that it “did not order the resignation of the old GSU Board as is alleged by Dr Walsh” in an article published earlier this evening, and the GSU Oversight Officer is “willing to furnish evidence to this effect”. 

The statement continued: “An email was sent on Wednesday 15 September 2021 reminding the old GSU Board that its membership had expired in early July 2021 and thanking it for its diligent service over the past three years”. 

Walsh labeled the timing of the email “bizarre” earlier on today, as “it came just before a Capitation Committee meeting which had been convened following the report of the Board in July regarding complaints made by GSU members”.

 

 

The statement from the GSU continued: “As no member had sought renewal of their position since early July 2021, a new Board was convened according to the established procedures.”

 

“We take this opportunity to thank the old Board again for its contribution to the GSU from 2018-2021 and look forward to working with the new Board,” the statement added.

Speaking to Trinity News earlier this evening, Dr Walsh added: “Members of the Board cannot be removed nor can a new Board be constituted simply by a decision from the President – appointments to the Board have to be approved by a General Meeting under the GSU Constitution.”

Walsh described the move as a “transparent attempt to undermine the report completed by the Board within its term of office” which found “a lack of adequate engagement and co-operation by the GSU leadership with the Board’s enquiry”.

Notably, this is the second time in recent months the GSU leadership has accused its Board of lying. In August, the executive team claimed the Board’s report into its officers’ conduct, which accused them of noncompliance with an investigation, was misleading

The GSU executive claimed at the time to have emails which contradicted the contents of the report, but did not release the text of said emails.

The previous Senior Dean made the decision to withhold GSU funding “pending formal ratification of the decision at a meeting of the Capitation Committee to be held as soon as possible following the appointment by [the College] Board of the new Senior Dean”.

On September 1, Professor Eoin O Sullivan was announced as the new Senior Dean.

When contacted by Trinity News, the senior dean declined to comment on the issue.

In August it was announced that funding from the Capitations Committee for the GSU would continue to be withheld, following a meeting of the outgoing and incoming Senior Deans. This is a decision which is being upheld by the new Senior Dean. 

Additional reporting by Kate Henshaw and Jack Kennedy.

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 and Assistant News Editor.