By Caitriona Murphy
Dr. Timothy Trimble, a lecturer in the school of Psychology, has been appointed to the position of Junior Dean. Trimble, a lecturer in psychology for over four years, previously worked as an Assistant Junior Dean to his predecessor, Emma Stokes, and has graduated to his current position through appointment by the College Board.
When asked how he envisioned his role as Junior Dean, Dr. Trimble replied: “I think it’s just human in a sense that there will be people who contravene the rules from time to time and there are people who make mistakes, there are people who come up with mental health difficulties and the good thing about this role is that quite often you work in combination”.
He does not plan to work alone, stating that one of the positive aspects of the job is working in combination with other college services such as the health service and senior tutors.
Student relationships with the Junior Dean’s office are at times difficult; he is responsible for the discipline of students and the enforcement of new policies such as no alcoholic drinks being served at student receptions before 6pm, which proved unpopular with the student body.
The controversial tenure of Emma Stokes saw several reforms in the powers of the Junior Dean’s office, including an additional clause in the College Conduct and Regulations that extended its control over student societies. The amendment allows the Dean the power to discipline student publications, a change which followed an incident two years ago when Stokes attempted to discipline the editor of student magazine, Piranha! but did not have the authority to do so.
Dr. Trimble said that he does not envision having to extend the power of his post any further during his time as Junior Dean but points out that he will be working on a “case-by-case” basis and will have to address issues as they arrive. The office of Junior Dean and its policy with student publications is further complicated by its refusal to communicate with writers. This policy does not look likely to change, as Dr. Trimble believes that it is important to maintain a distance between the office and the student body. “Quite often you are left in the position of arbiter… the decision making needs to be made in camera away from alternative influence or comment’’.