Comment & Analysis
Apr 25, 2021

The GSU is Causing Grievous Damage to its Constitution

An email was circulated to postgraduate students this week to clarify which motions and amendments were deemed as passed by the GSU executive.

By The Editorial Board

As the dust settled following a shambolic EGM organised by the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU), an email was circulated by the GSU executive confirming that the various motions and amendments to the constitution had passed.

While the email addressed motions and amendments that the GSU executive deemed as “correct”, there was no mention of the reports by The University Times that non-members had voted at the EGM, surely rendering all votes held during the meeting unconstitutional.

The email – signed by current GSU President Gisèle Scanlon and Vice-President Abhisweta Bhattacharjee – also included a pledge to “work hard” lobbying on behalf of postgraduate students. Simply put, the current executive cannot lobby on behalf of postgraduate students while questions remain over the validity of the entire EGM.


The email itself shows an executive out of touch with reality, as well as an unwillingness to engage with the very students this union exists to represent. Postgraduate students are cleary frustrated – if the petitions calling for Scanlon’s and Bhattacharjee’s removal are anything to go by. It is ludicrous to think that a simple email would be enough to resolve the questions regarding the EGM.

Accepting these motions and amendments as passed given the circumstances of the EGM may cause irreparable harm to the union. How can a union act with any authority while significant parts of its constitution have been voted through using an insecure voting system?

Last week, this Editorial Board wrote that the GSU is in freefall, and suggested a number of options to save the union from turmoil. The onus is now on all postgraduate students, as well as the Capitation Committee, to ensure that the constitution is not made a mockery of.