Karl McGovern delivered a statement after all sabbaticals were asked if they attended the initial Accounting and Finance society (A&F) AGM, during the first Class Rep Council (CRC) 2018/2019.
The current DCU Students’ Union VP for Engagement and Development was questioned by the Chairperson of FemSoc, Amy Colgan, after she presented her two emergency motions.
“The situation got out of control and I didn’t know what to do,” said McGovern.
McGovern added that he “should have intervened” and that he regretted not doing so. “I’m sorry to all DCU students,” he said.
McGovern also stated he was not in attendance in an SU capacity but went as a former Chair of the society and had no part in the organisation of the event that night.
“The SU does not condone Karl not intervening,” said DCUSU President Vito Moloney Burke.
“Karl cannot intervene” in matters within a society, said Burke, as that is in the remit of the Society Life Committee.
Colgan’s first motion condemned the first A&F EGM which took place on October 4th. The motion asked Council to mandate a feasibility study to be conducted by the VP for Welfare and Equality, Aisling Fagan, on the “introduction of consent and respect training for all club and society chairs, class reps and members of the SU executive and sabbatical teams”.
Her second motion was commending the campaign to stop the deportation of second year DCU student, Shepherd Machaya, and also mandated council to expand the campaign and ask DCU President Brian MacCraith to “make a statement opposing his deportation”. Both motions were accepted, after which she questioned the sabbaticals.
The first motion was proposed after first year rep candidates at the A&F AGM were required to compete in sexual challenges in order to be elected. A&F is one of DCU largest societies.
“Consent fundamentally was not present at the [A&F AGM] event,” said Colgan.
Colgan was “happy” with McGovern’s response and said that it was “necessary for him to apologise.”
MacCraith also made a brief appearance at the beginning of the CRC. He spoke about the importance of “respect and dignity” in DCU and that when he spoke about the events that happened at the AGM “disgust” was a common word used.
When it came to discussing ‘any other business’ (A.O.B) where emergency motions are presented, the meeting was nearly cut short due to it running up to two hours. Colgan emphasised the importance of staying for the A.O.B section as “time sensitive” issues were proposed.
McGovern’s response received an applause from the remaining members at the CRC. A large number had left as it was past 9pm before he gave his statement.
McGovern refused to give any further comment to The College View.
By Cáit Caden
Image Credit: Cáit Caden