A UGM (Union Gerneral Meeting) was called this evening in response a petition against having class rep training being held in a hotel. The petition was signed by over 900 students as a result of various student groups mobilizing against the training.
However, the 900 were nowhere to be seen. A mere 29 people were in attendance, which meant that quorum was not met. As a result of this the matter will be addressed at next Wednesday’s Union Council.
SU President Rob Munnelly released the following statement to the student Observer;
‘Student activism is vital to student democracy. Almost everyone here was a class rep or had heard about it from their class rep through lecture addresses or on Moodle. We know now that the profile of the Union has been raised over the last few weeks, and I’d like to thank everyone who was involved and everyone who played their part in our small democracy. ‘
In the aftermath of Hotelgate it must be noted that the actual training received by the Class Reps, irrespective of the location, was of a very high standard. Thobias Inkblot and Pádraig McCarrick visited the Lucan Spa Hotel and sat in on two hours of training. The training itself was certainly beneficial and engaging, especially for those class reps with limited experience in getting up to speak to a large group of people.
This Observer has also received first hand accounts of class reps, getting up to speak to their class on Monday morning. Forgetting all of the furor surrounding the Hotel, this is certainly a step in the right direction for the SU and student body in general, at the very time when activism needs to be at its most efficient. Stronger links between all levels of the student body is certainly something that can and will be used in the coming months.
In having the a UGM called the issue of training being held in a hotel has certainly highlighted several things, most notably that students are not going to allow money to be spent a manner that may be deemed wasteful. This has also served to highlight the prominence and sheer weight of the economic difficulties facing students. At the very least both sides of Hotelgate should realise that on the issue of student welfare, they are on the same page.
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