Trinity students with Irish names have experienced a win this week as fadas are to now be included on College student cards with improved ease.
The system used by Academic Registry to print the cards has been updated to allow for the inclusion of fadas on names written in Irish, with students whose names include a fada able to apply for a replacement card featuring the fada.
Speaking to Trinity News, Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Oifigeach na Gaeilge, Muireann Nic Corcráin, said she is “delighted” and “over the moon” that fadas would now feature on student cards.
“This, for me, has been an issue since I came to college, and when I was approached at the start of the year by multiple students who did not have a fada on their student card I wanted to find a solution,” Nic Corcráin said.
The change was sparked after Nic Corcráin reached out to Academic Registry alongside Oifigeach na Gaeilge Choláiste na Tríonóide Áine Ní Shúilleabháin and TCDSU Communications and Marketing Officer Muireann Kane.
“For students to have a fada on their card it must first be present on their student portal, as this is the data AR use for the cards,” Nic Corcráin explained. If students had a fada on the system then all that would have to be done is to get a replacement card.”
“However, if this is not the case then students need to fill out a Change of Personal Details Form to update the system details. Once this has been completed students can then get a replacement student card.”
Trinity’s student cards act as students’ official College identification card. Although replacement of lost or stolen cards without a Garda theft report incur a €20 charge, students availing of a new card in order for their name to feature a fada are to be exempt from the charge.
The student card is required for students to access some College facilities, such as libraries, the Sports Centre, and some laboratories. The card allows students to borrow materials from the libraries and to access support from the IT Services helpdesk.
Last year, a lack of fadas on student leap cards from the National Transport Authority (NTA) came under scrutiny as a potential data protection breach, with students expressing dismay that they could not include a fada on their name for student leap cards.
In accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect in 2018, organisations are required to ensure data is accurate and kept up to date as necessary.
Speaking to Trinity News at the time, then-TCDSU Oifigeach na Gaeilge, Cúnla Morris, outlined: “It’s something that’s always frustrated me that I can’t write my name properly on various forms, including leap cards.”
When applying for a new student leap card last year, Morris entered their name on the application form as “Cunla With A Fada Morris”, which was accepted by the system and printed on Morris’ card.
This article was updated at 14:32 on February 22 to note that students will not incur a replacement charge for cards which are replaced in order to include a fada.