Photo credit: Camille Lombard.
A new fund for student activities is to be set up, following an amendment to the clubhouse constitution. The decision was made at the annual General Meeting of all members of the bar this past January. However the amendment makes no specific reference to investing the funds back into the clubhouse.
There were no management committee meetings held in the first semester of this year, although this is in contradiction of the constitution on the governance of the bar. Under section 3, part x, the management committee of the bar must meet at “least twice in each academic term”. The AGM was also held outside of the terms governing the structures of the bar, which states that it must be held in the first semester of the academic year.
The amendment states that: “where sufficient funds allow, the committee shall have the power to establish a special fund for the benefit of UCD student activities as governed by the Athletic Union Council, Societies Council and Students’ Union. The maximum value of this fund in any one year shall be €50,000. The committee shall decide upon the process and criteria for allocation of this fund”.
The amendment to the constitution was placed in the “any other business” section of the agenda at the AGM. This is a section usually reserved for last minute additions to the minutes. This decision has received some criticism from members of the committee.
UCD Students’ President Conor Viscardi agreed that the manner of passing the amendment was “unusual”, though he did note it was a positive development for student activities.
The change was proposed by Dominic O’Keefe, who is head of student services. O’Keefe refused to respond to requests for comment from the University Observer.
Chair of the bar management committee, Suzanne Bailey, explained: “although the committee now has the authority under the constitution to establish this special fund, it has not done so as the committee has not met since the AGM.”
She further noted that there is currently no criteria set out as to how the fund will be distributed, it will be decided at a meeting of the committee before the end of the semester.
The meeting is expected to be held in at some point in the next two weeks.
Viscardi noted that “it’ll probably be at the discretion of the three different pillar entities what they spend that money on within the space of the clubhouse.”
The current constitution of the bar has been in place since the clubhouse reopened in 2013. The management committee includes representatives from UCD Sport, the Societies Council, and the Students’ Union