Provost Linda Doyle has confirmed today that “everyone will have some in person teaching experience” from September.
Doyle confirmed the news in a live Q&A with Trinity College Dublin Students Union (TCDSU) President Leah Keogh this afternoon.
She added that “it’ll be a mix,” with large lectures to remain online “for the moment”. Developments in this area depend on evolving public health policy, Doyle said. College is ready to “spring into action” when it gets new information from the government, she added.
Though large lectures will be online, “if something is in person, you can’t just choose to do it online”. However, exceptions to this may be granted to students “on a case by case basis”, organised through students’ tutors. The Provost also said College was “encouraging” lecturers to record all of their classes and make them available online after the fact.
Asked what measures College will be taking to ensure students’ safety from Covid-19, Doyle said preparations were underway involving modelling of the movement of people in campus buildings, figuring out “where there might be bottlenecks”. The university will also be installing air quality monitors and additional hand sanitiser stations.
The Provost also confirmed that “the Library will be open” when students return to campus but the precise details of its operation will depend on government restrictions. Currently, students must book seat space in the Library online, ahead of time.
On the subject of Freshers’ Week and extracurricular activities generally, Doyle said she believes the student experience is “made up only in part by what happens in lectures and labs”, and said College would be “maximising” in-person social, society and club activities “within public health guidelines”.
She pointed in particular to sports clubs, noting that many of them would be able to train and play in line with regulations, which currently allow outdoor training in groups of up to 15 and outdoor matches.
She also confirmed that orientation week for returning students, beginning Monday September 6, will be treated as a Freshers’ Week “for second years”. “I feel very sorry for people who started last year”, Doyle added. “We will be having two Freshers’ Weeks.” First year students begin their orientation on Monday September 20, to allow time for the release of Leaving Certificate results.