DCU postpone graduations due to coronavirus

DCU is so far the only other Irish university to announce a major disruption due to the virus

Dublin City University (DCU) has announced the postponement of their spring graduation ceremony in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The college announced yesterday that the ceremony, due to take place on March 21, will not go ahead and that “an alternative date for the ceremonies will be considered and communicated over the coming months”. DCU noted that the event “would have involved significant travel for graduates and their families”.

The college stated that in all other respects the university would remain open and operating as normal.

DCU are so far the only Irish university other than Trinity to announce a major disruption to their normal operations in response to the virus. Trinity is the only Irish university to report a confirmed case of the coronavirus.

On Tuesday, Trinity announced that all lectures would be delivered online until the end of term, while some schools within College took the decision to cancel all on-site classes including tutorials and seminars.

Ireland’s other universities, including University College Dublin (UCD), NUI Galway, Maynooth University, University College Cork (UCC), and the University of Limerick (UL) have all remained open and operating as normal.

In their latest update UCD have said that they are engaged in “contingency planning”, which involves “lecturers being asked to consider the use of online methods to deliver lectures and tutorials to support off-campus study” as well as “drawing up alternatives to formal examinations”.

NUI Galway have said that reports of a confirmed case of coronavirus within the university are inaccurate, writing in a statement that “an individual presented to the Student Health Unit yesterday afternoon who was referred onwards to the HSE following initial triage. The advice to the University was to deep clean a small area on campus, which has been carried out.”

UL have said that “any need for partial or full closure of the UL campus will be officially communicated to our community across multiple platforms and contingency plans will be made clear at that stage”.

Maynooth University wrote on their website that “while there is considerable speculation about the possibility of closing schools and universities, the effectiveness of such an intervention in reducing the spread of the virus at this time is not clear, and the public health consequences are complex”. They added that the university “will rely on guidance provided by the public health authorities”.

Finn Purdy

Finn Purdy is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News. He is a Junior Sophister English Studies student, and a former News Editor and Assistant News Editor.