We are very pleased to announce that the Union Forum of TCDSU has accepted a proposal written by our Chairperson László Molnárfi and LGBTQ+ Rights Officer of the union Jenny Maguire to modify the apolitical clause in the upcoming constitutional referendum. Clause 1.4. in the TCDSU’s Constitution is a bureaucratic barrier to represent students, especially those from marginalized backgrounds, and has consistently been used this year, last year, and before by reactionary Oversight Commissions and Sabbatical Officers to refuse to support grassroots protests and other direct action. Essentially, it has been used as a wildcard for the union to avoid taking action – see them not supporting many S4C protests as evidenced by the Union Forum minutes from 11th of October, the fact that time was spent discussing whether or not to get rid of the CETA and Migrant Rights motion at the second Council of this year and the fact that the proposer of the Irish Times Boycott motion at Council was told to raise it as a long-term policy motion rather than a Council motion. All of this stems from a fear of being political. We, however, have to be political. For example, the right to free education is a policy that conservatives have traditionally opposed, and there is no way of advocating for it without opposing conservatives, their people, their policies and their parties.
With the new constitution, this will now change and the union becomes more political. The version that Union Forum is putting forward has changed 1.4. This is directly due to lobbying by Students4Change with our Students 4 SU Reform campaign and the aforementioned proposal linked here to get rid of apoliticism that was submitted to Union Forum . The new wording, which will go to referendum as part of the new constitution, is that the union cannot endorse a political party or candidate. This is opposed to the old, vague wording of not allowing the union to engage in any political ideology.
This removes a barrier to represent students and will allow our union to be more political. This is one step towards reducing the bureaucratic impotency of the union. Vote yes on this change and onwards towards repolitizing, reforming and radicalizing our unions!