News
Nov 30, 2021

GSU Postpones AGM to ‘Cross Reference’ Voter List

The meeting will now take place on December 9th.

Emer MoreauEditor

The Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) has rescheduled its AGM, which was supposed to take place this evening, “due to the high number of registered postgraduates” who wished to attend.

The meeting will now take place on December 9th.

An email to those registered to attend said: “Due to the high number of registered postgraduates, we believe that this decision is proportionate in maintaining the integrity of the electoral process.”

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“The reason for rescheduling is to facilitate the task of cross-referencing almost 6,000 postgraduate students who are eligible to vote and voting attendees to the electoral register”, the email said. “As such, only registered postgraduate students will receive a zoom link on their TCD inbox on December 9th to participate in the voting.”

“Having recently learned that this task will incur more time, we believe the extension until said date, is respectful to the democratic process.”

Members will be given “unique voting codes” to cast their votes via MiVoice. The email continued: “The system being developed for the meeting is to ensure maximum security, and making sure only registered postgraduate students will receive the voting email …. We believe that this will facilitate mass online engagement in a time when guidelines are precarious around in-person meetings and paper ballot voting systems.”

Student media are permitted to attend, but must notify the GSU “communications department” in advance as “it is very important to us that we verify exactly who will attend”.

The GSU is to use MiVoice, an electronic voting system, for elections at the AGM – however, according to the agenda, this year’s executive has already been elected, and is set to be “introduced” to members at the meeting.

According to the union’s new constitution, all non-sabbatical members of the Executive Committee “shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting in each year, for a term lasting until the next Annual General Meeting save in extraordinary circumstances”.

The revised agenda for tonight’s AGM includes an “introduction to new officers and representatives”.

Union members will also vote on whether the GSU should formally support anarchist campaign group Students4Change.

Students4Change is an independent lobby group with a Marxist, anarchist ideology. It has a dozen members, according to its chair László Molnarfi.

Proposed by GSU Environmental Officer Jamie Rohu, it says that “greater team-work and collaboration is needed to advocate and agitate across College for postgraduate reform”.

If the motion is passed, it will mandate the GSU to “adopt a formal, committed stance in support of the Student 4 Change group and their demands for better postgraduate rights and conditions for students”.

“This includes active participation in the campaign and standing with the group’s members who take direct-action.”

The union’s AGM is supposed to be held by the end of the first week of November, meaning that tonight’s AGM is in breach of the GSU constitution.

Scanlon told this newspaper yesterday that the meeting “isn’t delayed at all”.

Postgraduates were initially told that the meeting would take place on Wednesday, November 30th. November 30th, 2021, is a Tuesday. The union clarified yesterday that the meeting will take place tonight.

The revised agenda was circulated with clarification on the date. The initial agenda included an item titled “apologies” which has been removed.

Also tabled in the new agenda is the introduction of the new GSU Board, which members will be asked to ratify. The appointment of a new board by Scanlon caused controversy earlier this year. Scanlon ordered the board to step down, which the chair of the board has said was unconstitutional.

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