TCDSU President proposes establishment of ethnic minority advisory group at Council

Speaking at Council TCDSU President Gabi Fullam said that the group would encompass a broad range of groups including members of the Traveller community and Jewish people

A motion to establish a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) advisory group, tasked with informing the Students’ Union on issues pertaining to their communities, was passed at this evening’s meeting of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Council.

Proposed by TCDSU President Gabi Fullam, and seconded by Ethnic Minority Officer Mihai Mesteru, any Trinity student or staff that identifies themselves as an ethnic minority will be able to join the group.

Ex-officio membership will also apply to the TCDSU President, Community Liaison Officer, Ethnic Minorities Officer, and Citizenship officer. The last two mentioned will serve as Chair and Secretary, respectively.

As stated in the motion, the aim of this proposed advisory group is for “students of colour and minority ethnicities to be able to come together in a shared space”.

The group shall enable “community engagement, and community planning, to inform campaigning carried out by the Union, such as Campaign weeks or relevant motions from council”.

Responding to a question for clarification on what was meant by minority ethnicities, Fullam said that the term was “deliberately open ended, with a view to being more inclusive”, saying that it was intended that the group would include members of the travelling community, Jewish people and “lots of other groups” in its definition.

“Solidarity will always be stronger than division,” Fullam added.

The creation of an advisory group was a campaign promise made by Fullam during TCDSU elections in February, when she directly called for this action amongst other anti-racist measures on campus. She also incorporated her own experience of racism on campus into her manifesto.

Fullam’s election manifesto at the time stated: “It is unclear where students of colour can turn to for support in times of racial injustice – I have felt this myself and none of my needs were met.”

“I believe our priority should be to provide safe spaces and ethnic minority groups for students to come together, with the support from the Union to enable grassroots movements…This will feed into the [establishment] of a Black Students, Minority Ethnicities, and Students of Colour Advisory Group.”

The BAME Advisory Group will meet at least once every three weeks during term-time. Meetings will be advertised in the TCDSU weekly email, and their findings reported to Council.

Additional reporting by Charlotte Kent, Ellen Kenny, Kate Henshaw, Aidan Cusack, David Wolfe, Shannon Connolly and Eva O’Beirne.