Fresher’s week saw the introduction of a new safety initiative from Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU). Paramedics were hired and stood in attendance at some of the week’s Ents night events and are be expected to be present at large-scale Ents events in the future.
The measure is aimed at improving student safety from the potential adverse effects of excessive alcohol and drug use at the large social gatherings, such as a drug overdose or alcohol poisoning.
Fresher’s Week was the first time this new measure was introduced. Medical professionals, hired by TCDSU from private contractor Code Blue, were present at the Fresher’s Ball as well as at the Deep Freeze: Seabass event in Tramline, Philleadh ar an gCóisir in Dtwo and The Great Opening in Café en Seine.
Speaking to Trinity News, Ents Officer Jonah Craig said the new initiative was put in place “to create a safer environment for our students at large events”. He said that while he could not disclose how much TCDSU is spending on the paramedics, they are “most definitely a worthwhile expense”.
Welfare Officer Damien McClean praised the new safety measure, saying to Trinity News: “The SU exists to support and help its students, in all aspects of their lives. Especially with students new to alcohol and drugs, we want to make sure they’re safe. When students don’t yet know their tolerances, we want to make sure that one misuse doesn’t cost them their health.”
“Naturally, we don’t encourage students to go overboard, but if they do, it’s important that there is a safety net in place to reduce any potential harm” he added.
The new measure will be running in tandem with other TCDSU initiatives to reduce the harm caused by the aforementioned substances. Welfare Officer Damien McClean told Trinity News that he will be integrating information on responsible substance use into TCDSU campaign weeks, such as Body & Soul and Rainbow Week.
Drug safety has been a popular topic of discussion for Welfare and Ents officers and candidates in recent years, and was mentioned by both Craig and McClean during their election campaigns in February. Craig stated to Trinity News at the time that he was interested in looking into hosting alcohol-free events as Ents Officer, but the employment of paramedics was not discussed.
Additional reporting by Aisling Grace.