This evening’s Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) council has failed to reach quorum, the first council meeting of 2024.
The meeting instead took the form of a town hall to discuss items on the agenda, but no motions can be voted on.
Motions set to be discussed included introducing a student sport bursary, increased support for Professional Masters of Education (PME) students and a motion to oppose the government’s proposed disability welfare reform.
The new OC chair was also due to be elected this evening after Maggie Larson stepped down, but this vote was not able to take place. Jack Leahy was chosen as interim OC chair until a new chair is elected.
One-third of members of Council must be in attendance in order to reach quorum under the TCDSU constitution.
TCDSU Engagement Officer Connor Dempsey criticised the lack of attendance, stating many students “are not buying into council anymore”.
“There’s so many class representatives not showing up to council because they don’t have input… we have to give them a reason to come.”
In his report addressing student engagement, Dempsey proposed reducing the number of elections at the first council of the academic year in order to maintain interest in council.
“People have told me they went to first council and never came back,” he said.
Dempsey proposed only electing OCMs of union committee at the first council of the year.
Dempsey also proposed a mechanism to allow the Electoral Commission (EC) to delay “controversial motions” to the following council to give people “proper time” to consider motions and have them changed.
He also proposed two required readings associated with each of these controversial motions.
Some of these proposals were criticised by council members, who said this may lead to more “bureaucratic” processes in the union.
Additional reporting by Kate Henshaw, Charlotte Kent, Evan Skidmore O’Reilly, Stephen Conneely, Gabriela Gazaniga, Conor Healy, Madison Pitman and Emily Sheehan.