Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) have voted in favour of a new student centre. The result was announced just after 6pm today. The total poll was 1,304 with 18 spoiled votes. 1,146, 88%, voted in favour of the student centre, while 140, 11%, voted against.
The two-day campaign period in the referendum on a new student centre finished on Tuesday, with voting taking place yesterday and today. TCDSU are proposing to build a €6.7m student centre for the college, covering 1,000m2.
The referendum proposed implementing a levy of €30 per year on each student starting in September 2019 to fund construction, with exemptions for those on financial hardship. The levy is set to run for 22 years with TCDSU mandated to build the centre within five years. The first two years of funding will be put towards upgrading existing spaces with improvements starting this summer.
The centre will contain a common area for all students accessible all day, multipurpose rooms for event space, break-out spaces, accessible offices for TCDSU sabbatical officers as well as microwaves and kitchenettes for the use of students. The levy will also be used to fund new student spaces off campus in D’Olier Street, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI) and Tallaght Hospital, as well as the existing student spaces in St James Hospital. In addition, the fund will also improve the 1937 Reading Room and provide accessible offices for the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU).
A previous proposal by TCDSU for a student centre failed in 2011. When asked why he expected this proposal to succeed earlier this week, TCDSU President Kieran McNulty noted how the two referendums were “significantly different” with the previous proposed levy being €80, and at that time College was considering paying for the centre.
McNulty stated that the exact location of the new centre would not be known until June but that 1000m2 of space has been promised by College.
Additional reporting by Jake Trant.