Constitutional review of TCDSU’s apolitical status to be examined next year

President Molnárfi said this year will be remembered as the year “the student movement at the 11th hour woke up”

A motion to review chapter 1.4 of the Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU)  constitution concerning the political nature of the union passed at the final council of the year this evening.

The incoming sabbatical officers are now mandated to bring a proposal to change the wording of constitution during the next Michaelmas term.

The motion said: “This wording should allow the union to criticise political ideologies and political parties, but will have the necessary safeguards in place to prevent abuse of power.

“Safeguards should include having to put any possible no confidence motions in the government to a Long-Term Policy (LTP) referendum, and the Union should be prohibited from affiliating to political parties.”

The passing of this motion marks a year of debate surrounding the political nature of the union.

Motions to hold a referendum to change the wording of the constitution failed twice, and while a referendum was scheduled to take place after campaigners got the necessary amount of signatures, it was then cancelled due to concerns of discrimination.

The motion was proposed by TCDSU President László Molnárfi and seconded by Citizenship Officer Ella MacLennan.

Speaking to Trinity News, Molnárfi said “the past few weeks have demonstrated mass student support for our grassroots, radical and political union”.

“As a result of the conversations surrounding the walkout and the impeachment petition that failed, members of council came to realise, and came to an agreement, that a referendum is needed to settle the question, and as such voted through at Council a motion that, if all goes well, will see the ‘apolitical’ stance in the constitution put to referendum in Hilary Term of 2025,” he said.

Presenting the last president report of the year, Molnárfi said that this year will be remembered as the year “the student movement at the 11th hour woke up”.

“Students realise that we don’t have to lay there and take it,” he said.

He noted that an “agreement” had been reached between himself, the incoming sabbatical board and two class representatives that had launched a petition to impeach him two weeks ago.

Molnárfi said he is “very happy that this question has been debated”.

“It has been a turbulent year, with issues of contention having been put rightly so at the forefront of students’ minds,” he said.

“Our legacy will be the birth of a new radical student union.”

Regarding direct action taken by TCDSU over the past year, Molnárfi said it was “nowhere near the mass movements of the past – we are merely moving towards that”.

Molnárfi also went on to say that “we hope to have sparked an inevitable start” towards further action, and that “the reason this year will be remembered is the same reason it will be forgotten”.

“What we have achieved this year will pale in comparison to what is yet to come,” he said.

In his speech, Molnárfi also denied “the allegation of a toxic workplace environment”.

Regarding what actions were being taken following these allegations, Molnárfi said there is “a plan which involves casework being divided up amongst the sabbatical officers”.

Conor Healy

Conor Healy is the Deputy News Editor of Trinity News and is currently in his Senior Freshman Year studying Law and Political Science