Fourth Week, the only dedicated student society week in the College calendar, has seen substantial funding restrictions this year as a result of overall cuts to the Central Societies Committee (CSC). Societies have traditionally been eligible to apply for specific grants for events taking place in the fourth week of Michaelmas term, providing that the events are free and open to all members of the College community. But cuts to funding have now resulted in restrictions on the type of grants awarded to societies. In previous years, Fourth Week was used by many societies to have events that strayed from their constitutional aims.
In a statement to Trinity News, CSC secretary, Caitríona Sheil, confirmed that only events that tallied with societies’ constitutional aims would be funded with grants, with events that do not clearly fall within societies’ description not being able to receiving funding. Priority has also been given to events which take place on campus.
The aim of Fourth Week is to promote society activity in College and to allow societies the opportunity to attract new members as a result of having opened their events to the College at large. The week also serves as an opportunity for those who may have entered College late as a result of later CAO offers, or lack of accommodation in Dublin during Freshers’ Week, to join societies in a convenient manner, having tried their events.
However, the focus this year may see a shift as the ‘re-freshers’ society fair that has been used to provide students with the opportunity to get involved with societies will not be taking place this year.
CSC has stressed that cuts to the Fourth Week budget are a direct result of overall funding reduction. All of College’s capitated bodies have seen funding cuts in recent months, with CSC funding expected to be cut by €17,916 over the next two year. However, Sheil said she was confident that funding cuts would not affect the success of the week, telling Trinity News that “the enthusiasm and innovation evident among our societies will not be affected by the cuts imposed by College.”
Photo: Attie Papas