A candidate in the Maynooth Students’ Union presidential election has come under fire for his use of the n-word in the MSU President Question and Answer session.
Liam Twaddle, one of the four candidates running for the position of MSU President, took part in a Q&A session in the college last week.
The incident arose last Thursday evening when Twaddle was asked about his use of the word after a number of screenshots of his social media activity were submitted to the panel by Maynooth students.
“I have friends of colour,” said Twaddle at the Maynooth hustings which was streamed live on Facebook, “we refer to each other jokingly as the n-word all the time and it was actually the phrase…” he paused for a second, “trigger-warning: white n***** … A lot of people use that word as a form of respect for each other and here it was meant as a form of respect.”
// MSU President Questions and Answer //
Posted by MSU Elections 2018 on Thursday, March 8, 2018
Leon Diop, the current MSU President, was one of the other candidates involved in the Q&A session. He has expressed disappointment with Mr. Twaddle’s remarks, but also frustration at the lack of reaction they have gotten.
“The nonchalant use of the n-word by Mr. Twaddle in front of all those students and social media shocked me. I couldn’t believe what I had heard and I was personally disheartened”, says Diop.
“This is a person who is wanting to be the voice of students yet his voice is used to say things like that. Many people use the n-word when rapping along to rap songs, but when it is used in the way he used it, it only causes anger and division.
“As a black man who is currently president, doing his best for the students of Maynooth, I thought people would have taken more of a stand against something like this. It needs to be seen that actions such as these have consequences.”
Twaddle has run his campaign with an aim of removing the SU’s ability to take a stance on political issues such as the Abortion Referendum, with the goal being to “protect minority groups from being ignored.”
In an interview with Campus.ie, Mr. Twaddle stated that he felt that holding a stance on issues such as these prevented discussion happening in the university.
“This has firstly given poor representation for St. Pat’s College, who are mainly against the mandate. Also many other students on campus are Pro-Life and find the campaign to have a negative view on fair discussion.
“With the result the pro-choice society on campus has repeatedly called the pro-life students ‘Anti-Choicers’ on Facebook. This is meant to degrade and there is a feeling that with the mandate this is acceptable.”
All of this comes in a week where the Students’ Union has come under fire for failing to properly campaign for the Repeal movement, despite students voting two-to-one in favour of the Union holding a pro-choice stance.
In an open letter to MSU, the college’s Pro-Choice Society criticised the body for a lack of events or organisation during a supposed “Repeal Week” in the university.
OPEN LETTER TO THE SU:Dear Maynooth Students' Union (MSU), We would like to express a deep-set disappointment from…
“To date there have been no posts on social media advertising any events that the SU have organised for this week. There has been no campaign, no posters, no planning”, the letter goes.
“This is not good enough. It hasn’t been good enough for a long time. The lack of planning for Repeal Week this week shows an attitude that is not one of dedication and commitment to the movement, but one of complacency.”
Elections for SU President, as well as VPs for Education, Welfare & Equality and Clubs, Societies & Student Engagement will take place on Tuesday, March 13th.
Still here? Check this out: How to Look Out for a Struggling Friend