ORGANISERS of Seachtain na Gaeilge have defended its use of blank posters to reserve postering space on campus. The group used blank and out of date posters to reserve spaces for Seachtain na Gaeilge (SnaG) as their original posters were not designed and delivered on time. However, the university’s postering policy states that student groups cannot reserve poster spaces prior to a weekly poster run.
Students’ Union (SU) Irish Language Officer, Donal Hanratty, defended his actions saying that other societies have acted similarly in the past. He explained that the posters didn’t arrive in time for Thursday morning because of factors out of his control and therefore he needed to reserve spaces.
Mr Hanratty added that a “gentlemen’s agreement” existed between society auditors which allows poster spaces to be held. Echoing this sentiment, SU President, Aodhán Ó Deá defended Mr Hanratty’s decision saying that place holding is “generally accepted among all societies and the SU. At times, because of pressure, posters can’t get done in time.”
However, Societies Officer, Richard Butler, informed society auditors that the posters with SnaG written on could be postered over. Mr Ó Deá has voiced his concern with this decision calling it “strange” because it was a point “that’s never been made in the past.” Mr Ó Deá stated that he had inquired about Mr Butler’s decision and was told that the Societies Officer had received complaints about Mr Hanratty’s conduct.
A number of society auditors were unaware of the ‘gentleman’s agreement’ that Mr Hanratty spoke of. Auditor of the Law Society (Law Soc), Niall Ó hUiginn, wasn’t aware of a gentleman’s agreement between societies saying “as far as I’m concerned, it is first come first served… you have to get your posters in on time and if you don’t, its tough luck. I think that it’s unfair to try and reserve posters when other people have gotten their posters in on time.”
Commerce & Economics Society (C&E)Auditor, Pat Griffith agreed with Mr Ó hUiginn, commenting that he was also unaware of any agreement, adding that he wouldn’t contact any of the other auditors if his posters were late because it wouldn’t achieve anything.
When asked how fair the postering policy is to smaller societies, Mr Ó Deá said that “we did make some changes this year to include some smaller societies… but I think something more needs to be done.” He explained that the narrow sides of pillars along the concourse have been reserved for smaller posters, stressing that this is generally what smaller societies use.