Shruti Nistandra, Associate Editor
The sixth Trinity College Meeting (TCM) of the 2020-2021 year took place on February 1st. After much discussion and debate, the motion to degender the six heads positions at Trinity College has been passed. The motion to degender the positions was brought by the current Head of College, Ingrid Cui, and Mariam Mahboob.
The Trinity College Meeting is Trinity College’s student governance body. The TCM is a direct democracy; all students from the college are members and are involved in the process of conducting student governance.
The amended positions are as follows:
- The male and female Heads of Arts will now both be referred to as Heads of Arts.
- The male and female Heads of College will now both be referred to as Heads of College.
- The male and female Heads of Non-Residence Affairs (NRA) will now both be referred to as Heads of NRA.
The heads are elected students who represent undergraduate Faculty of Arts and Science students at Trinity College. The heads are responsible for representing the student’s voice and improving the Trinity College experience for all. Furthermore, an important part of their role is being a trusted member of college that all students can turn to for help and advice. The Heads of Arts are specifically responsible for matters pertaining to student life and the Heads of NRA are responsible for representing the voice of non-resident students at the college.
The motion to degender all of the heads’ positions was introduced in November 2020, where it was not passed. The motion was put forward again in February at TCM #6 where it has been passed.
The motion to de-gender the heads positions was a move to make Trinity College and its governance structure more inclusive and welcoming for students. The change is aimed at removing barriers and encouraging everyone to apply for Heads positions regardless of the gender they identify with. Furthermore, as can be seen on the proposed electoral policy amendment, it has been argued that gender becomes a prominent election consideration, and thus, “candidates are not judged fully on their personal merit when it comes to a position that should be able to be fulfilled equally well by any person from any demographic.”
The argument was made that officially degendering the positions was unnecessary as students who do not identify as male or female can still run for those positions. However, this argument was met with disagreement as it was argued that such flexibility risks undermining the seriousness of the issue and the position.
For more information regarding the amendment of the Heads positions and the arguments that were discussed please refer to the TCM google drive, which has an overview of the proposed changes as well as detailed minutes from the meeting.
All students are welcome to bring motions to the TCM, share and discuss ideas as well as vote. The TCM is responsible for representing student opinions, funding clubs, and extracurricular activities, as well as organizing elections. The meeting takes place on Monday evenings; if you would like to express any concerns, propose a motion or implement any new ideas, the TCM is a great way to get involved and improve the college.
For more information about the TCM and how to get involved, please refer to the TCM Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as www.trinstudents.com (the Trinity College handbook can also be a great resource for information on all college-related matters).