TCD Postgraduate Workers’ Alliance – an influential postgraduate student lobbying group in Trinity – tonight endorsed John Tighe for president of the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU).
In a press statement, the group said: “The group believes that the TCD GSU is in an existential crisis and for Gisele Scanlon to serve another term as president could have devastating consequences for both TCD postgraduates and the union.”
“John Tighe has committed to upholding the mandate of the TCD PGWA in the TCD GSU and supports the national campaign for postgraduate workers’ rights.”
“He will work with the group in furthering the cause both on campus and nationally.”
The group added that it “urges all TCD postgraduates to vote for John Tighe, a presidential candidate that will uphold the mandate of the TCD PGWA and that will represent postgraduates fairly and properly”.
“After a chaotic year under poor leadership, the GSU is in dire need of a president that cares about postgraduates.”
Campaigning in the election is set to begin tomorrow. Hustings are scheduled for tomorrow, but a time has not yet been confirmed.
TCD Postgraduate Workers’ Alliance has been critical of Scanlon during her time as president and clashed with her over a survey the group carried out with the GSU’s assistance.
Speaking to The University Times about the endorsement, Tighe said: “Put simply, the GSU is mandated to back the campaign. It hasn’t this year, for whatever reason. I fully back all of their ideals.”
“I have been a postgrad worker myself and I know the anxiety that might come with dealing with teaching and research and the paperwork that must be done on top of this now.”
“I am delighted to have gotten the endorsement of the Postgraduate Workers’ Alliance and I hope that throughout this campaign, and if I win my presidency, that I can be worthy of the backing of the alliance, and I hope to work in tandem with them USI, the SU, and the larger Postgraduate Workers’ Alliance in Ireland to bring large scale reforms to the situations of postgraduate workers across the country.”
Campaigning in the election is set to begin tomorrow with voting to take place from June 9th to 11th. Results will be announced on June 12th. Hustings are scheduled for tomorrow, but a time has not yet been confirmed.
Correction 9:21pm, June 3rd, 2021
A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to the TCD Postgraduate Workers’ Alliance as the TCD PhD Workers’ Rights Group.