The Pavilion Bar (the Pav) has come under fire for its Freshers’ Week lineup, which includes partnerships with two premium student accommodation providers.
The Pav, which is owned by the Dublin University Central Athletics Club (DUCAC), is set to host student accommodation providers LIV and Aparto for five hours each during Freshers’ Week, both of which offer accommodation to students at rents surpassing €1,000 a month.
Trinity People Before Profit (PBP) criticised the Pav on social media, stating that “no student-run body should do business with corporations like Liv or Aparto”.
“With the college administration putting up opposition to rent caps for student tenants and raising on campus accommodation prices by 6.2% this year, an ever-worsening housing crisis and an increasingly precarious student body, DUCAC should flat out refuse to work with companies that are profiting off our misery,” the statement continued.
The Trinity PBP branch urged Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) and Trinity Ents to “pressure the Pav and DUCAC to cancel these events and work to ensure that [C]ollege do no business like this in future”.
The criticism followed the Pav’s announcement of its Freshers’ Week events with a graphic which features the logos for both the Pav and Trinity Ents.
TCDSU have said that they do not support the collaboration with LIV and Aparto.
TCDSU Ents Officer, Judith Robinson, told Trinity News that while “Ents are involved in the Friday event at 6pm-10pm, with DUDJ, VDP and SUAS. We are not involved in any other events on the Pav’s poster.”
She stated that she understood “that the Ents logo could have mislead people to think that we were involved in all of the events, but this is not the case”.
LIV is expected to visit the Pav for five hours on Thursday, where there is to be “info [sic] & competition games”, according to the Pav’s event lineup announcement.
Similarly, Aparto is set to take a five hour slot on Friday with “info [sic] and prizes”.
Rent costs in LIV’s Dublin location start at €195 per week for a twin room with an en-suite and rise to €299 per week for its “Platinum En-suite” option, with intermediate prices in between.
Aparto, which has four Dublin locations, charges €245 per week for its lowest-tier option in Summerhill, its closest location to Trinity.
Student accommodation providers such as LIV and Aparto have been criticised for charging high rates and showcasing luxury features like gyms, cinemas, and roof terraces while many students struggle to find accommodation in their price range.
Aislinn Shanahan Daly of Trinity PBP told Trinity News: “It’s not surprising that luxury student accommodation companies are finding ways to crawl into student activities during freshers week. However, it is unacceptable that any capitated body of the college has agreed to work with them, given the ever-worsening housing crisis that is locking potential students out of education. Now more than ever we need a fighting student union and a politicized student body to enact real change on issues like housing that just keep getting worse. ”
The price of accommodation has been a rising cause of concern for students in recent years, with Trinity students among thousands who marched in a Raise the Roof protest in May to demand affordable student accommodation.
A study released earlier this month outlined that accommodation remains the highest cost linked to higher education for parents around Ireland. It also found that the annual cost of attending college is approximately €4,000 higher for students living in purpose-built student accommodation or other types of rented accommodation than students living at home, with these students accumulating an average of €8,830, €8,361 and €4,611 respectively in expenses related to third level.
Property website Daft.ie’s latest quarterly report found that rent in Dublin has doubled since 2011, although the rate of rent inflation has slowed in recent years.
Other events set to take place in the Pav during Freshers’ Week include collaborations with societies and promotions with alcoholic beverage companies, in addition to the bar’s stand in Front Square.
DUCAC is among College’s five capitated bodies alongside Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU), the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU), the Central Societies Committee (CSC), and Trinity Publications.