Photo credit: Megan Fennelly
The Literary and Historial Society (L&H) were barred from the Freshers’ tent for a day following a dispute between the society and the Freshers’ week event staff.
The dispute allegedly arose over the reserving of seats for L&H committee members at their weekly house debate, “This House Would be a Death Eater,” on Wednesday 16th September, during Freshers’ week.
Seats were reserved for the committee before the debate but later that evening the student centre staff removed the reservation sign. They claimed that spaces should be filled by visitors attending the debate before the committee could take seats.
Allegedly a member of the L&H committee then moved students out of those rows, which were then filled by the L&H committee.
The Freshers’ week event manager then reviewed the situation and deemed that “there had been an instance of disregard for, and non-compliance with, normal instructions that were issued in the course of their duties by Freshers’ Week Event Staff.”
In a joint statement from both the Freshers’ week event manager and the UCD Societies Council, the society’s “non-compliance” was accompanied by “threatening and aggressive conduct.” The statement further noted that the actions of the L&H were “absolutely unprecedented at an event such as this.”
A decision was then taken on Wednesday evening to prevent the L&H from participating in the Freshers’ tent for the remainder of the week. However, the penalty included a sanction that the society could resume recruitment in the Freshers’ tent on Friday 17th September, if they resumed “a normal and rational level of engagement with the event and staff concerned.”
In recent years, the L&H has become one of the biggest student societies on campus with over 6,000 members last year. The society released this statement to the University Observer:
“On Wednesday the 16th of September, we ran one of our weekly House Debates. The large attendance, causing the Fitzgerald chamber to reach full capacity, created certain logistical challenges. We are a relativity new committee and during the course of the evening some mistakes may have happened. Our stall was subsequently shut down for the following day, Thursday the 17th until 17:00 when we were than able to run our debating launch event in association with Lawsoc and partake in the rest of Fresher’s week. The matter is now closed.”