Convenors could face impeachment

Two Students’ Union Convenors accused of breaching SU rules will find out on Wednesday evening if they could be removed from their positions.

Science & Health Convenor Sarah ‘Flano’ Flanagan and Business Convenor Neil Mulhern could face impeachment after Flanagan issued an email to students informing them of deals being offered in clubs for which Mulhern works as a promoter.

The role of the convenors is to represent the faculties in DCU.

The Students’ Union Executive Code of Conduct states members of the Executive cannot benefit financially, either directly or indirectly, as a result of their roles with the SU.

The two convenors must now resubmit reports which were rejected at the Last Class Rep Council, and include explanations for the sending of the email. Under current rules, if the reports were to be rejected a second time, a referendum would have to be taken on the issue of whether or not the convenors should be expelled from the Executive.

On November 5th, the Science & Health Convenor sent an email from her SU account to approximately 55 Class Representatives in the faculty informing them of special deals being offered to DCU students in clubs promoted by Mulhern.

Part of the email read: “Neil (the business convenor) has been in touch with me and let me know that this week only DCU students can get free in before 11.30pm to Big Tree (tonight), D2 (tomorrow) or the Village (Wednesday) with their DCU student card.

“Spread the word to your class if you want and it can be a kind of impromptu class party. However, if this is too short of notice you can contact myself or Neil Mulhern directly to try organise a class party in the future.”

The SU Electoral Committee received two complaints that the email was in breach of the Students’ Union Executive Code of Conduct which all members must agree to on acceptance of their nomination for their role.

The Electoral Council found that the email was in breach of the following part of the Code: “Members of the Executive must endeavour to arrange their private financial affairs to prevent such conflicts of interest arising and must take all reasonable steps to resolve any such conflict quickly and in a manner which is in the best interests of the student body.

“A conflict of interest exists where a member of the Executive participates in or makes a decision in the execution of his or her office knowing that it will improperly and dishonestly further his or her private financial interest or another person’s private financial interest directly or indirectly.”

The Electoral Council proposed that a vote be taken on whether or not to accept the reports. Sarah Flanagan’s report was rejected by 23 votes to 15. Neil Mulhern failed to issue a report but was still rejected by 32 votes to 6. Neither convenor attended the CRC meeting.

Returning Officer Steve Conlon told The College View that if the reports were rejected for a second time, a referendum would be required to determine whether or not the two conveners should be allowed to remain in their positions.

It is understood only students in the affected faculties would vote in such a referendum. Both conveners were contacted for comment but said they would prefer to wait until after this evening’s meeting before discussing the matter.

There are four convenors, one for each faculty, who sit on the Executive which is the main student committee within the SU. Also on the ‘Exec’ are the SU president and two vice-presidents, the Clubs Officer, the Societies Officer and the Chair of the Class Rep Council.

Sam Griffin

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