Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Council has passed a motion mandating their support for audio visual (AV) support in lecture recordings and hybrid learning to be transferred to in-house staff.
The President and Education Officer are now mandated to campaign for College to cease outsourcing to AV technology company FittingImage and for it to be provided by in-house IT Services, accompanied by the necessary expansion and/or pay rises for such staff.
The motion was proposed by SSP Convenor László Molnárfi and seconded by JF PPES representative Eoin Connolly.
According to the motion, “staff identified the outsourcing of AV support as a barrier to implementing lecture recording”.
An IT Services Satisfaction Survey 2022 found that staff noted that FittingImage lacked the skills required to allow for effective recording in an educational setting.
Speaking to Trinity News ahead of Council, Molnárfi said “I have reached out to about 80 lecturers at this point asking them to record their lectures – and a lot of them have replied saying that the lack of technological infrastructure is a barrier”.
One student raised concerns that putting AV support duties on IT Services will take resources from “fully remote students”.
Molnárfi responded that outsourcing to FittingImage and paying them takes resources away from these students, and that moving AV support in-house will save resources “for everyone in the college community”.
Molnárfi identified student accessibility as a key element to the proposed motion, with student wellbeing compromised by the lack of AV support.
“Rather than in-house trained staff, College relies on [FittingImage] in order to cut corners. This shows how the commercialized university neglects students’ wellbeing,” Molnárfi said, “The lack of general lecture recording at Trinity College Dublin presents itself as a barrier to accessing education for those students who are working, who are parents, mature students who have other commitments and those students with disabilities, chronic illnesses or neurodivergence.
“If there were lecture recordings, it would be a temporary relief in the midst of the cost-of-living crisis and also make education more accessible to workers, parents, mature students and others who have extra commitments”.