College cuts ties with the GSU

The Board will no longer engage with and offer services to the GSU

In an email to postgraduate students, Board has announced that it has decided to cut ties with the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU). 

Board asked this information to be relayed to postgraduate students this afternoon. 

The email, which was signed by Dean of Graduate Studies Martine Smith, Dean of Students Catherine McCabe and Senior Dean and Chair of the Capitation Committee Eoin O’Suillivan, said: “One role of the Capitation Committee is to oversee the distribution of funds to these five student bodies.”

“At a special meeting of Board today, it was noted that the Capitation Committee, at their meeting of the 20 September 2022, agreed by consensus to suspend funding to the GSU, and to re-allocate this funding to the Students’ Union for the purposes of supporting the postgraduate community,” the email explained. 

“The decision of the Capitation Committee flowed from the fact that the GSU has still not filed accounts with the Capitation Committee for the financial year ending August 2021, despite numerous requests from the Capitation Committee to do so.” 

The Capitation Committee oversees the funding of five capitated bodies in College, and is made up primarily of student representatives from the five student capitated bodies. These are the Students’ Union (TCDSU), the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU), Trinity Publications, the Central Societies Committee (CSC) and the Trinity Sports Union (DUCAC).

The email continued: “In light of this, the Board has decided that College will suspend its engagement with, and services provided to, the GSU, including having GSU representatives on College committees.”

“The Board acknowledged the importance of ensuring postgraduate students are represented in all relevant committees and forums,” the email continued. “Therefore, it was also agreed that the Students’ Union will be given a mandate in the immediate term to nominate postgraduate students to attend relevant committees at the invitation of the relevant committee chair.”

“Over the coming weeks, the Students’ Union will arrange for direct consultation with the postgraduate community to discuss the future of postgraduate representation in Trinity,” the email added. 

The email concluded: “In the meantime, any postgraduate student in need of support can reach out to the Students’ Union, the Dean of Graduate Studies or the Postgraduate Advisory Service.”

The GSU has come under continual criticism over recent years, including calls for a vote of no confidence and concerns over the last election period. 

Since July of 2021, the GSU has been subject to a funding freeze, after GSU leadership failed to comply with an investigation into its conduct.

Earlier this week, Trinity News reported that the current GSU President was being investigated by the GSU relating to alleged instances of inappropriate behaviour. 

Additional reporting by Kate Henshaw, Ellen Kenny and David Wolfe.

This article was updated at 3:22pm to correct a mistake which referred to the Board of the Capitation Committee. Indeed, it should have referred to the Board. 

Shannon Connolly

Shannon Connolly is the Editor-in-Chief of the 69th volume Trinity News, and a Senior Sophister student of English Literature and Philosophy. She previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.